Apple’s Potential Antitrust Lawsuit: Is Big Tech’s Reign in Jeopardy? Apple’s Potential Antitrust Lawsuit: Is Big Tech’s Reign in Jeopardy?

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By Ronald Tech

Apple Inc AAPL may be teetering on the brink of a seismic legal clash as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) edges closer to potentially unleashing an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.

The Impending Legal Storm

A recent report from the New York Times has ignited speculation about the looming threat of a DOJ lawsuit, indicating that the agency is nearing the final stages of an extensive investigation into Apple’s business operations. Sources suggest that the suit could materialize as early as the first half of 2024.

What Transpired: The New York Times provided insight into the focus of the DOJ’s scrutiny, which encompasses the compatibility of the Apple Watch with the iPhone compared to rival smartwatches, the restricted accessibility of Apple’s iMessage service on competing devices, and the barriers imposed by the Apple Pay system on similar services from other companies. Additionally, investigators delved into Apple’s constraining policies on cloud gaming apps within the App Store.

High-ranking DOJ officials are reportedly evaluating the findings to ascertain if Apple exploited its dominion over hardware and software to stifle competition and impede users from transitioning to alternative devices.

Behind the Curtains

The report divulged that DOJ investigators engaged in discussions with executives at Tile, a location-tracking service provider, regarding Apple’s constraints on iPhone location services to outside entities. Moreover, talks with Beeper, the facilitator of Apple’s iMessage service on Android devices, unveiled the stratagems employed by Apple to block access to the service from rival mobile operating systems.

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Furthermore, the investigators sought insights from financial service providers and banks concerning the lack of access to Apple Pay functions on iPhones.

Significance of the Impending Lawsuit

This potential lawsuit could potentially constitute the most expansive legal confrontation confronted by Apple, amplifying the mounting regulatory glare directed at the company internationally.

In 2012, Apple was embroiled in a DOJ lawsuit over accusations of collusion with publishers to inflate the prices of e-book downloads. The verdict went against Apple, resulting in a $450 million settlement payout to e-book consumers and their legal counselors.

Overseas, European regulators adopted the Digital Markets Act in 2022, which mandates Apple to open its devices to rival app stores. Comparable regulations are under consideration in Japan and South Korea. Simultaneously, the European Commission is conducting an inquiry into potential antitrust violations linked to fees levied by Apple on competitors to its Apple Music service.

At the close of Friday’s trading session, Apple shares were marginally down by 0.40% at $181.18, according to Benzinga Pro.

Image: succo from Pixabay