Tech giant Apple has won the appeal against the UK competition watchdog’s decision to investigate its cloud gaming services and mobile browser.

Last November, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an antitrust investigation against Apple and Google to curb their dominance in the cloud gaming industry.

Apple contended that “the decision was ultra vires because it was made outside the statutory time-limits” according to the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) ruling.

“The CMA had no power to make the market investigation reference (MIR) against Apple in November 2022. Consequently, the decision and the ensuing market investigation are invalid and of no effect,” the CAT added.

Earlier this month, the US-based company’s lawyer Timothy Otty said the investigation should have been opened in June 2022 when the CMA published a report on mobile ecosystems, which found the two tech giants had an “effective duopoly”, Reuters reported.

Responding to the ruling, a CMA spokesperson said: “We made this market investigation reference to make sure that UK consumers get a better choice of mobile internet services and that UK developers can invest in innovative new apps.

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“Today’s judgment has found there are material constraints on the CMA’s general ability to refer markets for in-depth investigations. This risks substantially undermining the CMA’s ability to efficiently and effectively investigate and intervene in markets where competition is not working well.

The CMA said it will consider its options, including securing permission to appeal the judgement.

“We are pleased with the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision and will continue working to deliver support for developers and a safe and secure experience for users,” the tech giant was quoted by the news agency as saying.