December 5, 2022

UK regulator examines possible adverse effects on competition in mobile ecosystem and gaming

On November 22, 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority announced an investigation into mobile browsers and cloud gaming.  The results of a consultation launched in June 2022 informed the CMA’s decision to conduct an in-depth investigation.  The Mobile Ecosystem Market Study Final Report from that consultation, indicated that 97% of all web browsing in the United Kingdom is done through search engines powered by one of two major companies, and that nearly one million UK consumers use cloud gaming services distributed through one of those companies. 

The CMA’s investigation will focus on whether the concerns identified by consumers and developers are justified, and to identify steps to improve competition and innovation, with the ultimate purpose of ensuring that consumers in the United Kingdom receive the best mobile data services available, and that developers will continue to invest in innovative applications without being hampered by restrictions imposed by the dominant mobile browsers.  If, within the eighteen months generally allotted for a market investigation, the CMA finds an adverse effect on competition, it may imposeremedies on businesses and make recommendations to regulators. 

New powers will be conferred on the CMA through the Digital Markets Unit, which was established within the CMA in April 2021 but awaits legislation in order to codify its role.

CMA press release