Streaming games and web browsers: The British regulator will put Apple on the grill

Apple and Google will have to explain themselves to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), the British equivalent of our competition authority. In the sights of the English regulator: game streaming in web browsers. The authority found that the two companies form a duopoly in mobile ecosystems, giving them a stranglehold on operating systems, app stores and web browsers on mobile devices.

A limitation imposed on one of the reference mobile browsers on the mobile market – in other words, Safari or Chrome – can have a great impact on the use of users and on actors who go through streaming services to indulge their passion. all-consuming. . They would be 800,000 in the United Kingdom.

The CMA organized a public consultation in June, which supports a thorough investigation by the authority. Among the points to be clarified: the way Apple restricts game streaming in the App Store. Technically, cloud gaming is not banned by Apple, but the conditions are so draconian that Microsoft (Xbox Cloud Gaming), Nvidia (GeForce NOW) and Google (Stadia) preferred to go through Safari.

Web developers have complained that Apple’s restrictions, combined with possible underinvestment in its web browser technology, are causing extra costs and frustration. “, explains the CMA. Developers have to deal with bugs and technical issues to such an extent that they cannot help but create mobile applications” while a website may be sufficient “.

The issue of lack of investment to make Safari and WebKit compelling alternatives to native apps is not new. Apple is moving slowly on this point, although it should be noted that improvements are being made regularly.

Apple and Google object that these restrictions are in place to ” protect users “. The CMA will decide whether this explanation is justified and whether new rules should apply to increase competition.

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