July 12, 2024
U.S. Justice Department May File 'Sweeping Antitrust Case' Against Apple This Year [Report]

U.S. Justice Department May File 'Sweeping Antitrust Case' Against Apple This Year [Report]

Posted January 5, 2024 at 8:42pm by iClarified
The United States Justice Department is purportedly in the late stages of an investigation into Apple and could file a 'sweeping antitrust case' against the company as soon as the first half of this year, according to the New York Times.

Sources tell the paper that officials are investigating how Apple has used its products and services to defend against rivals and protect the dominance of iPhone.

The agency is focused on how Apple has used its control over its hardware and software to make it more difficult for consumers to ditch the company's devices, as well as for rivals to compete, said the people, who spoke anonymously because the investigation was active. Specifically, investigators have examined how the Apple Watch works better with the iPhone than with other brands, as well as how Apple locks competitors out of its iMessage service. They have also scrutinized Apple's payments system for the iPhone, which blocks other financial firms from offering similar services, these people said.

The results of the investigation are currently being reviewed by senior leaders in the DOJ's antitrust division. Officials have also met with Apple on multiple occasions, including as recently as December, to discuss the probe. A final decision has yet to be made on whether a lawsuit will be filed and Apple has yet to have a final meeting with the department to argue against such a lawsuit.

Apple is facing increased regulatory pressure on an international level. This year, it will be subject to the new Digital Markets Act in Europe, that requires the company to allow third party app stores, sideloading, alternative payment methods, and more. In addition, the EU is expected to ban App Store rules that prevent app developers from directing users to alternative payment methods.

Notably, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is set to meet with Apple CEO Tim Cook in the United States next week to further discuss digital regulation and competition policy.

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U.S. Justice Department May File 'Sweeping Antitrust Case' Against Apple This Year [Report]
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