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US Files Landmark Case Against Apple For Monopolising Smartphone Market

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 22, 2024, 14:28:22

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US department of justice, Apple, lawsuit, smartphone

The US Department of Justice filed a landmark lawsuit against Apple, alleging the tech giant's monopolistic practices in the smartphone market.

The lawsuit, supported by several US states, contends that Apple has unlawfully maintained its dominance in the iPhone realm, stifling competition and burdening consumers with excessive costs.

This highly anticipated legal action marks a significant clash between Apple, founded by Steve Jobs in 1976, and the US government, following decades of limited scrutiny from Washington.

Apple now joins other tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Meta (formerly Facebook) facing antitrust scrutiny in the United States. Upon news of the lawsuit, Apple's shares plummeted by as much as 3.75 per cent on Wall Street.

Central to the case are allegations of Apple's exclusionary tactics, which impose stringent and often opaque conditions on firms and developers seeking access to the iPhone's vast user base of 136 million in the US.

The lawsuit claims that these practices compel consumers to remain within the Apple ecosystem and invest in the company's pricier hardware, notably the iPhone.

Apple swiftly refuted the lawsuit's validity, asserting that it is "wrong on the facts and the law," and vowed to vigorously defend against it. The company contends that a favourable ruling for the government would establish a concerning precedent, granting excessive regulatory control over technological innovation.

The lawsuit specifically targets Apple's alleged suppression of "Super Apps," comprehensive web portals that could offer various services on iPhones beyond the confines of the App Store.

Additionally, it accuses Apple of monopolising tap payment technology through its proprietary wallet app and impeding interoperability between messaging apps on iPhones and Android devices.

The broad scope of the case extends to other products and services, including smartwatches and web browsers, where Apple's practices allegedly hinder competition and innovation.

Despite Apple's efforts to diversify revenue streams beyond the iPhone, the company faces mounting pressure amid slowing sales growth. The Department of Justice highlighted Apple's unprecedented profits, surpassing those of any other company in the Fortune 500 and exceeding the GDP of over 100 countries.

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