Antitrust regulator considers Apple's cloud gaming ban and WebKit requirement anticompetitive

Daniel Sims

Posts: 517   +20
Staff
Why it matters: Apple has come under criticism for its effective ban on cloud gaming apps on iPhone and the requirement that all iOS browsers must use the WebKit engine. But now the United Kingdom's antitrust authority is bringing these policies under scrutiny along with Google's new Play Store payment rules.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced last week that it's investigating the effects of Apple's web browser and cloud gaming rules on the mobile market. The CMA also released a study in which it calls Apple and Google a duopoly in the mobile space (which points out the obvious, but I digress).

The CMA found that 97 percent of all mobile web browsing in the UK in 2021 occurred on browsers running on either Apple's WebKit engine or Google's Chromium. Apple forces all iOS browsers to use WebKit, which the CMA fears limits innovation in web browser apps. The European Union is already preparing legislation forcing Apple to end that requirement.

Concerns about Apple's restrictions on cloud gaming for iOS also reached the CMA. Apple has blocked companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google from releasing mobile cloud gaming apps unless they agree to deliver each streamed game as an individual app.

This would partially defeat the purpose of cloud gaming and potentially give the Cupertino giant a cut of in-game purchases, and bring the subscriptions into competition with Apple's game subscription service. Notably, Apple enforces no such rules on video and music streaming subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify.

Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia were forced to sidestep Apple's cloud gaming rules using web apps.

Pending the investigation, the CMA could force Apple to change its rules for both iOS web browsers and cloud gaming. The regulator is also investigating Google's newly tightened obligation that Play Store apps use its payment processor and thus send it a share of sales revenue. The new rules have led to higher prices in South Korea and brought Google into conflict with Epic's Bandcamp.

Permalink to story.

 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,150   +2,316
Well, they took their sweet time to finally see what all of us knew.

Assuming something gets done, lets see if america will bother in doing the same.

Nah, we dont have the best government that money can literally buy for nothing.


But, assuming something gets done, I would love to see them forced to also allow emulators.


Better yet, sideloading!


PS, dont say anything to the rabid apple fanbois at ArsTechnica, your life would be in imminent mortal danger, by both their staff and readers.
They will hunt you!
 
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Hexic

Posts: 1,238   +1,927
TechSpot Elite
PS, dont say anything to the rabid apple fanbois at ArsTechnica, your life would be in imminent mortal danger, both their staff and readers.
Will hunt you!

The Ars community is akin to an Apple fraternity that know nothing other than what Apple marketing tells them, and what they convince each other in their own vacuum.

Sometimes I enjoy going there just to watch the comment section of Apple posts if I want a good laugh.
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 771   +1,060
A tech giant being anti- competitive? I'm shocked! Let's hope google, facebook, amazon, and others don't follow suit...
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,150   +2,316
The Ars community is akin to an Apple fraternity that know nothing other than what Apple marketing tells them, and what they convince each other in their own vacuum.

Sometimes I enjoy going there just to watch the comment section of Apple posts if I want a good laugh.
Man..if you really want to see them foaming at their mouths, all you need is one word: sideloading.

They go wild, cant make that stuff up.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 435   +348
A tech giant being anti- competitive? I'm shocked! Let's hope google, facebook, amazon, and others don't follow suit...


They can't -no one else has the Cult of Jobs necessary to create a complete-locked-in- package that is the iPhone plus iOS plus Store. Without which Safari The Browser with 2% desktop market share would have failed years ago!
 
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moon982

Posts: 101   +27
What is Apple WebKit? You can install Brave or Firefox on iOS or iPadOS so what is the problem.

I have been using Brave for some time. It just the stock App is Safari but you can install other browser.

Not sure what this WebKit they are talking about.
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 1,150   +2,316
What is Apple WebKit? You can install Brave or Firefox on iOS or iPadOS so what is the problem.

I have been using Brave for some time. It just the stock App is Safari but you can install other browser.

Not sure what this WebKit they are talking about.
Quick Google search:

Webkit is Apple’s web rendering engine, and it is required to be used by all browsers on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS not just Safari. This means that no matter what browser you use on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac it’s possible for users to craft web content in such a way that it allows them to run anything on your device. And worse, it may have already been used in the real world, rather than just discovered by security researchers.

Link, in case you want more info:

 

defaultluser

Posts: 435   +348
What is Apple WebKit? You can install Brave or Firefox on iOS or iPadOS so what is the problem.

I have been using Brave for some time. It just the stock App is Safari but you can install other browser.

They're Skins. It's like if you just redressed-up Chrome by calling it Opera.

Brave on iOS =Firefox on iOS = Safari on iOS. Same internal engine!

Unfortunately, you kids can't understand the goddamned difference, and just like t play pretend some more

- Signed, a man who actually uses Firefox on his android phone! And computers.
 

human7

Posts: 51   +33
In other news, a German regulator also considers Apple's privacy protections anti-competitive. Not because the privacy protections are themselves bad, but because they give Apple's ad business an unfair advantage since the privacy protections don't protect the users from Apple's tracking. This, along with the app store and other requirements imposed by Apple show that there's a culture of anti-competitive behavior at Apple.

Here's a link to the news story for the privacy protections being deemed anti-competitive.
https://www.msn.com/en-US/news/tech...-competition-german-regulator-says/ar-AAYsEfY