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Apple Facing Imminent U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit

The United States Justice Department is preparing to sue Apple for violating antitrust law as soon as Thursday, reports Bloomberg. The lawsuit will be the culmination of an investigation that initially started in 2019 as an antitrust review of major technology companies. U.S. regulators have already sued Google, Meta, and Amazon.

Over the last several years, Apple officials have met with the DoJ multiple times, and the investigation has covered everything from iMessage to ad practices. Some of what the DoJ has looked into:

  • How the Apple Watch works better with iPhone than other smart watches do.

  • How Apple locks competitors out of iMessage.

  • How Apple blocks financial firms from offering tap-to-pay services similar to Apple Pay.

  • Whether Apple favors its own apps and services over those provided by third-party developers.

  • How Apple has blocked cloud gaming apps from the App Store.

  • How Apple restricts the ‌‌iPhone‌‌'s location services from devices that compete with AirTag.

  • How App Tracking Transparency impacted the collection of advertising data.

  • In-app purchase fees collected by Apple.

Apple competitors like Tile, Beeper, Basecamp, Meta, and Spotify have had discussions with antitrust investigators to voice their complaints about Apple's practices, as have big banks. According to Bloomberg, the DoJ plans to argue that Apple has used illegal practices to maintain a dominant market position, blocking competitors from hardware and software features on the ‌iPhone‌.

Back in 2020, a United States House Judiciary Subcommittee investigation concluded that Apple, Meta, Google, and Amazon have the "kinds of monopolies" last seen in "the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons." The subcommittee recommended new antitrust law, but the DoJ opted to target Google before going after Apple because Apple was embroiled in an antitrust lawsuit with Epic Games.

Apple in iOS 17.4 had to make sweeping changes to the way the ‌App Store‌ operates in the European Union to comply with the Digital Markets Act, and it was also recently fined $2 billion in Europe for anti-competitive behavior against rival music services.
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Source: TechRadar

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