NewsJustice Department and States Sue Apple for Antitrust Violations

Justice Department and States Sue Apple for Antitrust Violations

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, together with the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, announced the filing of a lawsuit against Apple.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, together with the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, announced the filing of a lawsuit against Apple.
Images source: © Anna Moneymaker, Getty Images | 2024 Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker

5:19 PM EDT, March 21, 2024

The Justice Department, alongside 16 state attorneys general, launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple last Thursday, accusing the tech titan based in Cupertino of breaching regulations. This follows a hefty fine of $1.8 billion that the European Commission recently slapped on Apple.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleges that Apple's policies significantly hinder the ability of other companies to provide apps that rival Apple's offerings, including digital wallets. This competition shortfall could potentially devalue the iPhone, according to the U.S. government.
"Apple's policy harms consumers and smaller companies that compete with some of Apple's services," according to excerpts of the lawsuit published by the government. "We read in 'The New York Times.'"
The government asserts that Apple has not only established but also reinforced its monopoly in the smartphone market, a process meticulously documented over many years of monitoring Apple's devices and services. This scrutiny highlights how iPhones, being central to Apple's business and empire, have allowed the company to amass a staggering value of $2.75 trillion.
Apple's Response to the Government
The government argues that Apple has not been playing fair, accusing it of offering its products and services exclusive access to key features while denying the same to competitors. "Over the years, it has restricted financial companies' access to the phone's payment chip and hindered Bluetooth trackers from using the location service feature. Users find it easier to connect Apple products like smartwatches and laptops to the iPhone than those from other manufacturers," reports suggest.
In defense, Apple claims that these actions enhance the security of its products. Nevertheless, competitors argue that such practices effectively monopolize the market.
Responding to these allegations, an Apple spokesperson, quoted by "NYT," stated, "this lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets." Apple emphasizes that the government's actions could impact the company's ability to create innovative technology that meets customer expectations.
It's worth noting that antitrust investigations have not been uncommon for tech giants, with Meta, Amazon, and Google all facing scrutiny during Donald Trump's administration.
The EU's Stand Against Apple
In a similar vein, the European Commission recently issued its first-ever fine against Apple for violating EU laws related to access to music streaming services. The Commission determined that Apple unfairly prevented developers of music streaming apps, such as Spotify, from informing iPhone users about cheaper payment alternatives outside of the Apple App Store, as reported by Politico. Consequently, the EC fined Apple 1.8 billion euros.
The "NYT" points out that the U.S. government's actions go beyond those of European regulators, examining not just potential antitrust violations linked to the App Store but also scrutinizing Apple's entire product ecosystem over several years.
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