U.S. Justice Department Sues Apple; Alleges Monopoly

March 21, 2024
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Consumers should not have to pay higher prices because companies violate the antitrust laws.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on the Department of Justice suing Apple on allegations of illegally and intentionally limiting competition and effectively trapping consumers.

Why It Matters: The historic face-off between the United States government and one of the largest American companies (Apple is one of the world’s largest companies) could come with consequences for both the company and consumers.

The Department of Justice, joined by 15 state attorneys general plus the District of Columbia, focused on the iPhone in this case for most of its explanation about why the government believes Apple violates “The Sherman Act” (the first Federal act that outlawed monopolistic business practices).

The iPhone dominates the U.S. smartphone market. According to the DOJ, Apple’s share of the entire smartphone market in America is more than 65% and it gained this share in an illegal way – by anticompetitive conduct.

The DOJ alleges Apple’s practices illegally insulate the company – creating higher prices for consumers, and fewer choices in the industry overall.

The DOJ alleges Apple violates consumer privacy and security by inserting itself illegally in the lives of consumers such as by the use of Apple Pay.

Apple responded to these claims: “At Apple, we innovate every day to make technology people love—designing products that work seamlessly together, protect people’s privacy and security, and create a magical experience for our users. This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets. If successful, it would hinder our ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple—where hardware, software, and services intersect. It would also set a dangerous precedent, empowering government to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology. We believe this lawsuit is wrong on the facts and the law, and we will vigorously defend against it.”

The Department Of Justice announcement: LINK or WATCH

Something To Consider: “’Consumers who buy iPhones like Apple’s highly curated mobile ecosystem,’ said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. ‘That’s not an antitrust violation, that’s why millions of people buy iPhones for security and ease of use. If DOJ forced Apple to open up its software and hardware, it would make iPhones more like Androids, depriving consumers of choice between two very different types of device.'” LINK

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by Jenna Lee,

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