The Justice Department is Preparing a Draught Filing
The biggest digital antitrust cases to far have centred on Google and Facebook, but Apple may soon be joining the fray. According to Politico, the Department of Justice is already crafting a complaint charging that Apple "abused its market position to restrict smaller tech companies, including app developers and competitive hardware producers." The complaint will be filed in federal court.
Although European antitrust regulators have brought similar complaints about the company's App Store prices and the iPhone's handling of tap-to-pay technology, it would be the first such action brought by a US federal agency against Apple.
The corporation has also successfully resisted a number of civil lawsuits brought by competitor businesses, most notably the Epic Games App Store challenge, which resulted in a frustrating deadlock for antitrust proponents.
According to Politico, the Justice Department has not yet committed to taking legal action against Apple and may still decide that the matter is not worth pursuing. The Justice Department may pursue the matter, but it may be years before it is submitted publicly. The choice to prepare the lawsuit, however, indicates that it is a genuine and ongoing effort, which gives Apple a lot to be concerned about moving forward.
A request for comment from Apple was ignored.
The news comes as a number of federal cases, with varied degrees of success, challenge the authority of powerful tech giants. The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit in July to stop Meta from buying the well-known VR gaming studio. The lawsuit's viability will depend on the outcome of the court case.
In 2020, the Department of Justice charged Google with antitrust violations for allegedly monopolizing the search and display advertising industries. The specific state of the negotiations is still unknown, but according to The Wall Street Journal, Google offered to spin off its ad-auction companies into a new company as a means of resolving the dispute.