US DOJ will finally sue Apple after years of antitrust investigation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 21

The United States Department of Justice will finally file an antitrust lawsuit against Apple on Thursday, probably.

A blue iPhone 15 Pro held in a hand facing down
Governments put pressure on Apple as antitrust scrutiny increases



An antitrust investigation against Apple by the DOJ has been underway since a complaint from Spotify in 2019. Over the years, other Apple competitors added to the case in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the DOJ is finally ready to sue Apple due to antitrust concerns. The lawsuit is set to be filed as soon as Thursday.

The investigation seemed like it would never end as empty promises of a lawsuit were offered for four consecutive years. Everything seemed to finally be approaching an actual lawsuit after Apple was given its customary pre-filing meeting in February 2024.

Filing the lawsuit is just the beginning. The DOJ will have to make its case, Apple will undoubtedly appeal, and the cycle will repeat for years to come.

There is a chance that the DOJ will seek a ruling that gets US customers access to similar requirements set by the EU Digital Markets Act. Apple has had to create 600 new APIs to open up iOS to alternative marketplaces and new payment options, and the US government may use the existence of such tools as leverage to push for compliance.

News of the DOJ finally suing Apple arrives just hours after US companies complain over Apple's implementation of removing anti-steering practices. The US courts will likely rule for changes to Apple's business model, but there's no telling what form those changes will take.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    There’s zero chance the DOJ is going to try to sue in U.S. court for everything in the DMA. Congress didn’t pass any new regulations. They have to try for something that was already on the books. EU had to pass new laws because Apple didn’t violate the old ones.
    iOS_Guy80watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 34
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 1,119member
    I may be wrong, but it seems like so many of these legal issues would be resolved if Apple offered a version of the iPhone hardware for sale without any OS installed, at a higher price that reflected the fact that the in-app purchases customers make help subsidize the hardware. Almost nobody would buy the hardware-only version, but it would help clarify the situation for lawmakers who may otherwise struggle to understand the bigger picture. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    If the DOJ wants to sue and make the so-called Gatekeepers as defined by the EU stay out of each other's lawn/ecosystems for the sake of competition no problem but the DOJ really isn't interested that or real competition, many want Apple to be just HP or Dell.....Just die off with all the other vertical computer companies from the 1980's and 1990's and sell parts to the local chop shop on the corner for repairs.

    And it's a battle of the one percent.
    edited March 20 bonobobJFC_PAdavthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 34
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.

    Exhibit one...... 
    Michae1daviOS_Guy8013485mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 34
    The  DOJ would have no case.
    By legal definition, Apple is not a monopoly.  That's why they mapped the floor with Epic Games in court.
    I don't know why these people don't just make their own devices and leave Apple alone.

    If the EU keeps messing with Apple, I think they should just leave the EU and just operate in the UK.
    Let the EU buy and service their devices in the UK for much higher prices or let Spotify build devices for them.
    Michae1davteejay2012watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 34
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 612member
    Nobody needs an iPhone to survive. iPhones and apps are not utilities like Water.

    Apple should be allowed to make any rules they want on their non-essential products and even close the App Store if they want to.

    I don’t expect to be able to install “any software” on my Playstation, my Switch or my Fridge.

    I dont expect to be able to install the Jaguar Land Rover software apps into a VW Golf.

    As for a “hardware version” with no OS…. Where to start with that? How do you expect the device to be able to do anything? It wouldn’t be able to even function as a phone without software. Software needs specific hardware, why do you think x86 windows cant be run natively on Apple Silicon. Apple aren’t preventing it, it’s just not possible without translation/emulation. It would be like trying to run MacOS directly on your TV. 

    If you want to jailbreak your iPhone crack on. 
    CuJoYYCradarthekatdaviOS_Guy80teejay2012watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 34
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,843member
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.
    Go to Android if you want that...The majority of iPhone users do not want this and it's a HUGE security risk to do that. You cannot treat a phone the same way you treat a Mac. They're two totally separate devices used for different things. 
    danoxradarthekatdaviOS_Guy80teejay2012StrangeDaysmdwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    nrg2nrg2 Posts: 19member
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.
    And in three simple paragraphs you’ve educated us that you don’t know what you’re talking about with directly saying you don’t know what you’re talking about. 

    1) a monopoly in itself is not illegal. 
    2) any app developer can put an app on the App Store for FREE. They can then have it “activate” by logging in to an account that you purchase through their website. IE Netflix, MS Office, etc. etc. Having in app purchase options only makes sense though. If consumers are too lazy to research they can get the license cheaper elsewhere is not Apple’s responsibility. 
    3) what other company is required to advertise that you can get the same product elsewhere for a different price? Should every car dealer have a big button next to their cars for sale  stating “Buy me for $5000 less at dealer XYZ instead”? That’s ludicrous for saving THOUSANDS of dollars and even more so to save $3. 
    fotoformatJFC_PAradarthekatNickoTTdaviOS_Guy80teejay2012thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 34
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,373member
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.
    Either you're the John C. Dvorak of this forum, or you have ties to disgruntled Apple product developers, as per your recent post here, which I refuted here.

    But I will agree the sheer and utter "nonsense" being directed at Apple on the legal front does indeed "need to stop."
    edited March 20 JFC_PAdaviOS_Guy80ilarynxStrangeDaysmdwRobJenkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 34
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,373member
    While there is no law that prevents a US President from influencing the DOJ, the DOJ has traditionally projected itself as being independent from the executive branch and not easily manipulatable.  Even so, it is clear the current US President has no interest in preventing the DOJ from committing this horrific legal act to an American success story like Apple.  Based on what occurred at the DOJ under the previous President's leadership, it's unclear how a switch in Presidents this November would alter the status quo.  Even so, it would be nice to see this case go vaporize because it will cost all consumers more in the end, either through taxes used to fund this case via the DOJ, or through higher prices to Apple fans in the long haul, or more likely, both.

    Yes, my friends, you and I will be the people who will pay dearly for all this.  Not the DOJ.  Not Apple.  It's really quite sickening when you ponder it, especially so when I read people say crazy and uneducated things like "About time" regarding the DOJ doing this to Apple.  Total and utter insanity.
    JFC_PAdavthtentropysRobJenkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 34
    glennhglennh Posts: 73member
    pssst…. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 (U.S. Constitution)

    [The Congress shall have Power . . . ] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    IE.. As a long time Apple shareholder, I say it’s about time that Apple’s Board get aggressive and orders the company to start charging all for profit outfits for any and every use of Apple’s IP, especially the billion dollars whining FREELOADERS like Spotify and Epic! 

    edited March 21 radarthekatNickoTTdavteejay2012watto_cobraMacPro
  • Reply 13 of 34
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,866moderator
    jdw said:
    While there is no law that prevents a US President from influencing the DOJ, the DOJ has traditionally projected itself as being independent from the executive branch and not easily manipulatable.  Even so, it is clear the current US President has no interest in preventing the DOJ from committing this horrific legal act to an American success story like Apple.  Based on what occurred at the DOJ under the previous President's leadership, it's unclear how a switch in Presidents this November would alter the status quo.  Even so, it would be nice to see this case go vaporize because it will cost all consumers more in the end, either through taxes used to fund this case via the DOJ, or through higher prices to Apple fans in the long haul, or more likely, both.

    Yes, my friends, you and I will be the people who will pay dearly for all this.  Not the DOJ.  Not Apple.  It's really quite sickening when you ponder it, especially so when I read people say crazy and uneducated things like "About time" regarding the DOJ doing this to Apple.  Total and utter insanity.
    Are you suggesting that the President should have carte blanche to hold sway over the DOJ and what lawsuits they bring?  What about separation of powers?  Not your thing?  
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamtht
  • Reply 14 of 34
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,587member
    SOCIALIST PROTECTIONISM AGAINST AMERICAN CORPORATIONS TO PROTECT THEIR OWN TECH INDUSTRY FROM COMPETITION

    </sarcasm>
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 34
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,587member
    Are you suggesting that the President should have carte blanche to hold sway over the DOJ and what lawsuits they bring?  What about separation of powers?  Not your thing?  
    Dictatorship is all the rage recently, it seems. 
    muthuk_vanalingamdavmdw
  • Reply 16 of 34
    macxpress said:
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.
    Go to Android if you want that...The majority of iPhone users do not want this and it's a HUGE security risk to do that. You cannot treat a phone the same way you treat a Mac. They're two totally separate devices used for different things. 

    I would love to hear your reasoning behind your assertion that You can't treat a phone the same way you treat a Mac.  You certainly can.  It's just a computer in a different form factor.

    It's the ONLY reason I'm a Mac/Android user instead of a Mac/iPhone user.  
    edited March 21
  • Reply 17 of 34
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,919member
    US DOJ wants to make sure great American companies shrink and eventually die using DOJ's anti-trust strategy, by distracting them from their focus and innovation and help infiltrate American consumers by Chinese companies(subsidized by Chinese government). Chinese will destroy America brick by brick and DOJ is helping them.
    Fight back Washington's corrupted government and it's agencies.
    AllMwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 34
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    I may be wrong, but it seems like so many of these legal issues would be resolved if Apple offered a version of the iPhone hardware for sale without any OS installed, at a higher price that reflected the fact that the in-app purchases customers make help subsidize the hardware. Almost nobody would buy the hardware-only version, but it would help clarify the situation for lawmakers who may otherwise struggle to understand the bigger picture. 
    This would assume that iOS os the issue, but probably this is not the case.    If a iPhone without iOS would become available, some companies might put Android on it, which would be a nice exercise if Apple would disclose the hardware documentation, but I don't believe Apple would like to do that.

    I think that issue is much more the monopoly that Apple has on distributing iOS apps via the App Store.  And this monopoly does hurt some (but not all) app developers.  Being an ap developer myself, I don't mind that Apple is imposing technical requirements for apps, but I do not like the business related rules in the App Store guidelines.   E.g. it is quite beneficial for an app developer to integrate with a single, device agnostic, credit card payment system so the customer care becomes much more streamlined (and as a consequence more cost effective) 

    Whether the end user would experience some benefits if this monopoly would be lifted, remains an open question.  Apple claiims not; Spotify, Epic, Meta and Microsoft claim it does.

    muthuk_vanalingambala1234
  • Reply 19 of 34
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 906member
    A complete WASTE of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the pursuit of DEPRIVING customers of choice in a free market. Whether you're a developer or a consumer, if you don't like Apple's walled garden App Store, you have an easy solution and other choice: Android. App developers, in particular, disgust me because they want it both ways. They want to sell to Apple consumers because it's a more lucrative market than Android that's willing to actually BUY apps--it's a customer-base that Apple has cultivated and built on the basis of the walled garden as a main marketing point. So developers want to sell to these buyers but on their terms, not Apple's, because boo-hoo, Apple takes a 30% cut on sales. Yeah, keeping 70% of the retail price and getting access to a huge market of consumers willing to spend money for your product is so unfair. Sorry, but I can't find a violin tiny enough to play for you. Here's a thought STFU and just sell to the Android crowd. Problem solved. 
    AllMentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,020member
    About time.  Apple has been illegally monopolizing app distribution on iDevices for well over a decade now.  It's time for the nonsense to stop.

    I should be able to install any software of MY choosing on MY iPhone, without interference from Apple.

    I really hope DoJ doesn't cave and settle.  Apple needs to allow normal software installation, without an app store.
    Put simply, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Monopolies are not illegal… *Illegal* monopolies are illegal. So far, no one has been able to prove that Apple has a illegal monopoly. They have one on iPhones to be sure. But the iPhone is not a market per se.  

    The problem with any antitrust case related to the anti-steering provisions is that customers have a choice to buy an Android phone from literally dozens of other manufacturers. The argument you’re making is one that’s been made repeatedly, but it’s not  an legal argument. If you want the ability to install anything you want, by Android. or jailbreak your phone.   

    If Apple had 90% of the market and yet was also the gatekeeper of the App Store, that would be another matter. But they don’t 90%. They don’t even have 50%. Their latest estimated US smartphone market share is 39%.  

    You’d also do well to understand the history of tech monopolies a little bit. Microsoft unquestionably had an illegal monopoly with Windows. They abused their market position by pushing out other browsers to the exclusivity of Internet explorer. They pressured all PC makers to include only Windows. They were 90% of the market, perhaps more. Even with that, the DOJ ended up essentially folding.  Ultimately, this is going nowhere.  

    teejay2012StrangeDaysmike1watto_cobra
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