Apple Sued by U.S. Department of Justice, Says Lawsuit is 'Wrong'

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced it has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit alleges that Apple illegally maintains a monopoly in the smartphone market with the iPhone and the device's locked-down ecosystem.


In a statement shared with MacRumors, Apple said the lawsuit is "wrong on the facts and the law," and the company vowed to "vigorously defend" itself:

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 complaint was filed today in a U.S. District Court in New Jersey by the Justice Department and 16 other U.S. state and district attorneys general. Apple is accused of violating various U.S. federal and state antitrust laws, including the Sherman Act.

In its press release, the Justice Department highlighted some of the allegations:

- Blocking Innovative Super Apps. Apple has disrupted the growth of apps with broad functionality that would make it easier for consumers to switch between competing smartphone platforms.
- Suppressing Mobile Cloud Streaming Services. Apple has blocked the development of cloud-streaming apps and services that would allow consumers to enjoy high-quality video games and other cloud-based applications without having to pay for expensive smartphone hardware.
- Excluding Cross-Platform Messaging Apps. Apple has made the quality of cross-platform messaging worse, less innovative, and less secure for users so that its customers have to keep buying iPhones.
- Diminishing the Functionality of Non-Apple Smartwatches. Apple has limited the functionality of third-party smartwatches so that users who purchase the Apple Watch face substantial out-of-pocket costs if they do not keep buying iPhones.
- Limiting Third Party Digital Wallets. Apple has prevented third-party apps from offering tap-to-pay functionality, inhibiting the creation of cross-platform third-party digital wallets.

Apple's anticompetitive conduct also affects "web browsers, video communication, news subscriptions, entertainment, automotive services, advertising, location services, and more," according to the Justice Department.

Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division:

For years, Apple responded to competitive threats by imposing a series of "Whac-A-Mole" contractual rules and restrictions that have allowed Apple to extract higher prices from consumers, impose higher fees on developers and creators, and to throttle competitive alternatives from rival technologies. Today's lawsuit seeks to hold Apple accountable and ensure it cannot deploy the same, unlawful playbook in other vital markets.

The entire complaint spans 88 pages.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

truthsteve Avatar
10 weeks ago
Meanwhile, many developers are fine with 15%/30% cut and most customers are fine with a single App Store to find all of their apps.

As usual, gov trying to control someone else's success for no reason. Huge overstep.
Score: 108 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justiny Avatar
10 weeks ago
There is almost nothing more cringe than listening to politicians and government officials try to talk about technology and it immediately becomes apparent they have no clue what they are talking about.
Score: 106 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheColtr Avatar
10 weeks ago
All Apple needs to do is allow iOS devices to be computers. Like the Mac, let me install software I want, even if Apple doesn’t like the content.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
antiprotest Avatar
10 weeks ago

Apple said the lawsuit is "wrong" and that it will "vigorously defend"
Is there a legal difference between defend and vigorously defend? Why do people always add vigorously? I assume no one wants to casually defend themselves? Or do they think this adds a note of indignation? If so, why always vigorously instead of some other word?

Edit: I don't understand why a few people "disagree" with this. It is a real question. There is nothing to disagree with. If you think I am ignorant, just answer the question.

Edit: Someone offered an answer: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-responds-to-being-sued-by-u-s-department-of-justice.2422451/post-33026392
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vipergts2207 Avatar
10 weeks ago


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Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spazzcat Avatar
10 weeks ago

Meanwhile, many developers are fine with 15%/30% cut and most customers are fine with a single App Store to find all of their apps.

As usual, gov trying to control someone else's success for no reason. Huge overstep.
I love having my tax dollars wasted on nonsense. At the same time, it will be fun to watch this blow up in the DOJ's face. Why spend money on things like better healthcare, feeding the homeless and better education ...
Score: 68 Votes (Like | Disagree)