CMA Opens Investigation into Google, Apple Gaming Services

CMA Opens Investigation into Google, Apple Gaming Services

In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeal has empowered the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to initiate a critical investigation into Apple and Google’s mobile browser and cloud gaming services. This ruling reverses a previous judgment that barred the antitrust regulator from launching the inquiry, marking a significant shift in the oversight of tech giants.

Overruling the CAT: Justice Green’s Decisive Verdict

The panel of three justices unanimously overturned the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s (CAT) decision, which had halted the CMA’s market investigation initiated in 2022. This investigation aims to scrutinize the dominance of Apple and Alphabet browsers. Justice Nicholas Green played a pivotal role, criticizing the CAT’s interpretation of the Enterprise Act 2002 as potentially crippling to the CMA’s authority.

Apple’s Challenge and the Legal Implications

Apple’s argument that the CMA had missed the investigation deadline under the Enterprise Act 2002 was initially successful. However, this interpretation, as Justice Green highlighted, would severely limit the CMA’s capacity to address concerns about Apple or Google’s behavior, even if such concerns were objectively justified.