Apple has won an antitrust case in the UK, with the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) ruling that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) failed to stick to established statutory timeframes for such investigations. The CMA had announced a formal investigation into Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile platforms last fall, but the CAT ruled that it was too late in deciding to open the probe.
The CMA had opened the investigation in response to complaints that Apple’s mobile browser and cloud gaming service were disadvantaging competitors in the market. The CMA had alleged that Apple’s practices were anti-competitive and had the potential to harm consumers.
However, Apple appealed the CMA’s decision, arguing that the regulator had failed to adhere to the statutory timeframes for such investigations. The CAT agreed with Apple, ruling that the CMA had taken too long to decide to open the probe. The CAT concluded that the CMA had not acted within the required timeframe and, therefore, the investigation had to be quashed.
The ruling is a major victory for Apple, as the CMA’s investigation could have resulted in significant fines and sanctions. It also sets a precedent for future antitrust cases in the UK, as regulators will now have to be careful to ensure that they adhere to the statutory timeframes for investigations.
The ruling is a major victory for Apple and a setback for the CMA. It also serves as a reminder to regulators to adhere to the prescribed timeframe for investigations in order to avoid similar legal challenges in the future.
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