UNITED STATES SUES APPLE

UNITED STATES SUES APPLE

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The US Department of Justice accused Apple of operating an illegal monopoly in the smartphone market in an expansive new antitrust lawsuit that seeks to upend many of the ways Apple locks down iPhones.

The DOJ, along with 16 state and district attorneys general, accuses Apple of driving up prices for consumers and developers at the expense of making users more reliant on its phones. The parties allege that Apple “selectively” imposes contractual restrictions on developers and withholds critical ways of accessing the phone as a way to prevent competition from arising, according to the release.



“Apple exercises its monopoly power to extract more money from consumers, developers, content creators, artists, publishers, small businesses, and merchants, among others,” the DOJ wrote.

The government points to several different ways that Apple has allegedly illegally maintained its monopoly:

  • Disrupting “super apps” that encompass many different programs and could degrade “iOS stickiness” by making it easier for iPhone users to switch to competing devices
  • Blocking cloud-streaming apps for things like video games that would lower the need for more expensive hardware
  • Suppressing the quality of messaging between the iPhone and competing platforms like Android
  • Limiting the functionality of third-party smartwatches with its iPhones and making it harder for Apple Watch users to switch from the iPhone due to compatibility issues
  • Blocking third-party developers from creating competing digital wallets with tap-to-pay functionality for the iPhone

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