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U.K. launches investigation into Apple’s cloud gaming restrictions

The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is planning to launch an investigation into Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming. The government agency announced in a press release that it is in the consultation phase of the investigation following a year-long market study into Apple, as well as its rival Google.

Craig Ferguson introducing Mac Gaming at WWDC.

The study found that the tech giants had a duopoly over the mobile market that severely restricted competition by third-party developers and deprived them of incentives. In the case of Apple, it’s looking into its restrictions on cloud gaming services on the App Store after hearing complaints from U.K. developers who say that such restrictions make it difficult for them to compete in the market, not to mention deprive users who prefer accessing a wide variety of games through cloud gaming that they cannot find in the App Store.

“Apple has also blocked the emergence of cloud gaming services on its App Store,” the CMA said. “Like web apps, cloud gaming services are a developing innovation, providing mobile access to high-quality games that can be streamed rather than individually downloaded. Gaming apps are a key source of revenue for Apple and cloud gaming could pose a real threat to Apple’s strong position in app distribution. By preventing this sector from growing, Apple risks causing mobile users to miss out on the full benefits of cloud gaming.”

The CMA plans to further investigate Apple’s cloud gaming restrictions and may make legally binding orders for the company to change its related business practices if it comes to that decision.

This is the second anti-competition investigation Apple is facing in the U.K. — or in Europe, for that matter. Last month, European Union officials ruled that Apple stifled competition with third-party mobile wallets to bolster Apple Pay, forcing iOS users to use that mobile wallet in lieu of other ones in order to make their payments. When will Apple learn?

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