Apple likely to face US Justice Department antitrust lawsuit

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is likely to face a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit soon, with a new report indicating that the department's two-year-old investigation of the company has recently accelerated.

Credit: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash
Credit: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash


The Department of Justice reportedly ramped up its Apple probe over the summer of 2021, with DOJ lawyers questioning Apple, as well as its customers and competitors, The Information reported on Monday.

That "flurry of activity" has included a new round of subpoenas that were sent to Apple business partners over the summer, sources said.

At least one source noted that the investigation is very likely to lead to an antitrust lawsuit, though the specifics of the complaint are still up in the air. Additionally, the DOJ has assigned more staff to the probe as department lawyers uncover what they believe are "serious issues."

The Justice Department first launched an investigation into Apple's business practices in 2019, when federal regulators ramped up their scrutiny of Big Tech.

Antitrust investigations of the type targeting Apple can take years to complete. After an investigatory period, DOJ lawyers will submit a recommendation to sue. The Apple case has yet to reach that point, and the timing could also be affected by the pending Senate confirmation of incoming DOJ antitrust chief Jonathan Kanter.

The department's investigation is also said to be undeterred by the recent decision in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit. Apple largely fended off Epic Games' complaints, and the judge presiding over the case ruled that Apple was not in violation of federal antitrust regulations.

In addition to the investigation in the U.S., Apple is also facing an antitrust probe in Europe after Spotify levied a complaint concerning Apple Music

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,724member
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    edited October 25 designrapplesauce007MisterKitbadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 19
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Well put.  Especially when Apple was recently found not to be a monopoly.
    The DOJ would lose an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, just like Epic will lose again.
    The DOJ should not waste taxpayer money to support sore loser corporations.
    JFC_PAjas99rob53badmonk
  • Reply 3 of 19
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Imagine thinking that as a customer you have something to offer an investigation like this. Also you seem to have missed that this started under the previous administration, and that the DOJ is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. 
    anonconformistmuthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 4 of 19
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Well put.  Especially when Apple was recently found not to be a monopoly.
    The DOJ would lose an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, just like Epic will lose again.
    The DOJ should not waste taxpayer money to support sore loser corporations.
    Where does one get an armchair law degree these days?
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 5 of 19
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Well put.  Especially when Apple was recently found not to be a monopoly.
    The DOJ would lose an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, just like Epic will lose again.
    The DOJ should not waste taxpayer money to support sore loser corporations.
    Where does one get an armchair law degree these days?
    Not everyone in here are tech geeks or nerds. You don’t have to be ‘Perry Mason’ to figure out the rules and opinions rendered in the Epic case. As the judge hinted and stated in plain words being successful does not by itself make you a monopoly just because consumers choose and prefer Apple products and its business model over the competition! 
    jas99Dogperson
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Well then #FJB

    Are we allowed to not say that?  Cause I didn't. 
  • Reply 7 of 19
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,724member
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Imagine thinking that as a customer you have something to offer an investigation like this. Also you seem to have missed that this started under the previous administration, and that the DOJ is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. 
    I guess you didn’t read the second sentence of this article. It said DOJ lawyers were questioning customers and I’m a long standing customer. I worked with the federal side of Apple for years and had a hand in purchasing a few million dollars worth of Apple hardware.  I’ve also been at Apple headquarters for meetings so yes, I feel I have something to offer. 
    aderutterDogperson
  • Reply 8 of 19
    BosaBosa Posts: 80member
    This Government is doing nothing right, gas is $5 and inflation going crazy, border is a mess but they want to tell America best company what to do. These politicians need to just go away
    sbdude
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    edited October 26 qwerty52
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    badmonk
  • Reply 11 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    qwerty52 said:
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    You are kidding, right? 
    edited October 26
  • Reply 12 of 19
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 121member
    "At least one source noted that the investigation is very likely to lead to an antitrust lawsuit". Well that's definitive. Hit the print button.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 13 of 19
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,010member
    gatorguy said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    You are kidding, right? 
    good point Gator, he neglected to include Google’s functional monopoly on search and video presentation, FB’s functional monopoly on social media and their societal harming algorithms to encourage conspiratorial thinking and social discord.

    Thanks for keeping us all honest here.
    thtStrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    badmonk said:
    gatorguy said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    You are kidding, right? 
    good point Gator, he neglected to include Google’s functional monopoly on search and video presentation, FB’s functional monopoly on social media and their societal harming algorithms to encourage conspiratorial thinking and social discord.

    Thanks for keeping us all honest here.
    He also failed to be aware of the numerous antitrust actions against Google, even more so than Facebook and far more than Apple. He needs to expand his news sources because "those same people" are far from doing nothing when it comes to other big tech brethren. :)
    FileMakerFellermuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 19
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    I don’t even see how “Apple is a problem” - does not hold majority market share, plenty of thriving competition, has a customer base that loves their products, etc. Just because Spotify or Tile is mad about having to compete doesn’t mean something is amiss.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    gatorguy said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    You are kidding, right? 
    Not at all. You may be willfully blind to Google’s repeated pattern of trying to evade user privacy, but we aren’t…

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/10/23/google-and-facebook-worked-to-beat-safaris-privacy-tools
  • Reply 17 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,304member
    gatorguy said:
    qwerty52 said:
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    Yes!

    I wonder, are these guys really not tired of always chasing on Apple? In the same time,  the very same guys are doing nothing against companies like Google and Facebook, which business model is just based on  a constant breach of users privacy. 


    You are kidding, right? 
    Not at all. You may be willfully blind to Google’s repeated pattern of trying to evade user privacy, but we aren’t…

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/10/23/google-and-facebook-worked-to-beat-safaris-privacy-tools
    That's not what he was claiming Strangedays, but of course you knew that. He said regulators weren't doing anything to stop it. He had to be kidding because of course they are, and in my opinion they should. Every massively rich company eventually goes too far with their ability to unduly influence and control. They can never be too rich or have too much power in their view. It's been that way throughout history, and Google is no different.

    Personally I'm OK with countries around the world keeping big tech honest thru laws and investigations, and if breaking up a few of them is the right answer so be it. There is so much wealth and power held by a small handful of companies who increasingly act as tho they should answer to no one, with the possible (!) exception of shareholders.
    edited October 26 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 19
    Dogperson said:
    Apple is a problem but _uckerberg and Fecesbook gets free rein?? I watched _uckerberg before Congress and something is very very wrong. 
    Follow the $$$$$. 
    You can certainly hold me In Contempt of Congress!
    ( yes i realize DOJ and congress are 2 different entities but they appear to slurp from the same trough)
    I don’t even see how “Apple is a problem” - does not hold majority market share, plenty of thriving competition, has a customer base that loves their products, etc. Just because Spotify or Tile is mad about having to compete doesn’t mean something is amiss.
    Apple is NOT the problem   I get it. Fbook and _uckerburg are but that is not apparent to the officials
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 19
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,959member
    rob53 said:
    They didn't question me and I've been a customer since 1989. I know this is a different branch of the DOJ than the ones looking into the larger topic but it would be nice if they didn't waste their time on going after Apple while there are much more important things to investigate. I'm also wondering if the current DOJ needs to be investigated to make sure everyone is actually following the law and doesn't have any interests in Apple competitors. 
    Well put.  Especially when Apple was recently found not to be a monopoly.
    The DOJ would lose an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, just like Epic will lose again.
    The DOJ should not waste taxpayer money to support sore loser corporations.
    Could you expand on the 'not a monopoly' angle? 

    My understanding was that in this particular court case, Apple was found not to be a monopoly because Epic hadn't managed to prove to the judge that it was and the judge left the door open to that stance possibly changing. 

    That was one specific case among a myriad of ongoing cases around the globe.

    Far too early to draw definitive conclusions. 
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
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