British antitrust authority wins appeal to investigate Apple

Britain's antitrust watchdog can investigate Apple's mobile browser and cloud gaming services, the London Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday, overturning a lower court decision that the agency said could undermine its authority to conduct investigations.

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened a comprehensive investigation into the dominance of Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google. On mobile browsers.

Apple argued that the CMA “did not have the authority” to launch such an investigation because it did so too late, and that the investigation should have been opened in June, at the same time as the CMA published a report into mobile phone ecosystems, which concluded Until Apple and Google had an “effective duopoly.”

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled in Apple's favor in March, but on Thursday the Court of Appeal upheld the CMA's appeal.

Justice Nicholas Green said in a written ruling that the CAT had “overlooked” the CMA’s role in “promoting competition and protecting consumers”.

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British antitrust authority wins appeal to investigate Apple

He also said there would be “serious consequences” for the CMA if the CAT's interpretation of the competition regulator's powers was correct.

“It will mean that the CMA will no longer have jurisdiction, even after a few years, to investigate concerns about the conduct of a company like Apple or Google, even if those concerns are objectively justified,” Green said.

Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the CMA, welcomed the decision which she believes “gives the CMA the support it needs to protect consumers and promote competition in the UK.”

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Cardell stated that the Capital Markets Authority is ready to reopen the investigation “when the legal process is completed.”

Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has the right to request permission to appeal the decision.

The authority said that its investigations are pending the submission of any application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

With information from Reuters.

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