US Department of Justice to File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is gearing up to file a lawsuit against Apple (AAPL.O), potentially as early as Thursday, over accusations of breaching antitrust regulations by impeding competitors from accessing iPhone hardware and software capabilities, as per Bloomberg News’ report on Wednesday.

Taking on Big Tech has been a rare point of consensus between Democrats and Republicans. Under the Trump administration, which concluded in 2021, both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated investigations into Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

The focal point of the charges remains ambiguous. However, as voiced by hardware device manufacturers such as Tile, Apple’s limitations on accessing iPhone sensors during the development of rival products have been a longstanding grievance.

This scenario unfolds against the backdrop of Apple’s launch of AirTags, a product akin to Tile’s, which aids users in locating lost items such as car keys, but was introduced several years after Tile had already been marketing a similar solution.

US Department of Justice to File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple
Amidst legal scrutiny, Apple’s stock experiences a 1.5% decline in extended trading, settling at $175.97.

Similarly, Apple has maintained limitations on accessing a specific chip within the iPhone, crucial for enabling contactless payments. As stated, Credit cards can only be added to the iPhone by using Apple’s own Apple Pay service.

This stringent control over hardware access aligns with Apple’s persistent stance on safeguarding user data and device integrity, citing privacy and security as paramount concerns.

Regarding Apple’s iMessage platform, exclusive to Apple devices, criticisms have surfaced regarding its interoperability with Android phones. Detractors argue that Apple’s handling of messages exchanged with Android devices, such as compressing media files like pictures and videos, puts non-Apple users at a disadvantage.

In a notable shift last year, Apple announced its intention to embrace a new messaging protocol known as RCS (Rich Communication Services).

RCS, championed by Google, promises enhanced messaging experiences across diverse devices, potentially addressing the limitations previously observed with iMessage’s exclusivity.

In late February, according to Bloomberg News, Apple engaged in discussions with Justice Department officials, aiming to dissuade the agency from pursuing an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.

“A new antitrust suit against Apple would be the third by the Justice Department in the past 14 years, but it is the first case accusing the iPhone maker of illegally maintaining its dominant position,” reported Bloomberg.

Apple finds itself amidst another antitrust dispute with Epic Games, the developer behind the popular “Fortnite” video game.

US Department of Justice to File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple
Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Elon Musk’s X, and Match Group join Epic Games in accusing Apple of violating court-ordered injunction on App Store payments.

On the same day, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Elon Musk’s X, and Match Group aligned with Epic Games, highlighting Apple’s alleged non-compliance with a court-mandated injunction concerning App Store payments.

These technology behemoths, responsible for many sought-after apps on the platform, asserted that Apple’s actions represented a “clear violation” of the injunction issued in September 2021, as it hindered consumers from accessing cheaper payment alternatives for digital content.

The Justice Department’s antitrust pursuits have also targeted Google, with two lawsuits—one under the administration of Republican Donald Trump, focusing on its search business, and another under Democratic President Joe Biden, centered on advertising technology.

Similarly, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Facebook during Trump’s tenure, with Biden’s FTC continuing the legal battle.

Apple’s stock experienced a 1.5% decline to $175.97 in extended trading on Wednesday.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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