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US government launches Apple action
(Pic: Shutterstock)

22 Mar 2024 / global news Print

US government launches Apple action

The US Justice Department, along with 16 other state and district attorneys general, has launched legal action against Apple for alleged “monopolisation or attempted monopolisation” of the market for smartphones.

The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleges that Apple illegally maintains a monopoly over smartphones by selectively imposing contractual restrictions on, and withholding critical access points from, developers.

The department argues that Apple undermines apps, products, and services that would otherwise make users less reliant on the iPhone, promote inter-operability, and lower costs for consumers and developers.

‘Higher prices’

“Consumers should not have to pay higher prices because companies violate the anti-trust laws,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“We allege that Apple has maintained monopoly power in the smartphone market, not simply by staying ahead of the competition on the merits, but by violating federal anti-trust law,” he added.

The lawsuit accuses Apple of blocking apps with broad functionality that would make it easier for consumers to switch between competing smartphone platforms, blocking the development of cloud-streaming apps and services, and preventing third-party apps from offering tap-to-pay functionality.

"This lawsuit threatens who we are, and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets,” Apple said in response.

“If successful, it would hinder our ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple – where hardware, software, and services intersect," it added.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland