Apple facing major antitrust lawsuit from US government

Apple Faces Antitrust Lawsuit from US Government

Today, the US Department of Justice made a significant announcement – they are taking legal action against Apple for allegedly monopolizing the smartphone market. This lawsuit, filed by the Department of Justice along with 15 state and district attorneys general, as well as Washington DC, was submitted to the District Court of New Jersey.

According to the lawsuit, Apple is being accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices such as making it challenging for consumers to switch to other smartphone platforms, maintaining a closed system that is not compatible with apps and peripherals from other companies, and blocking third-party digital wallets. Particularly relevant to the video game industry is the claim that Apple has hindered the development of cloud-streaming game apps.

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The lawsuit, which can be found on the DOJ’s website, aims to stop Apple from engaging in anti-competitive behaviors, including controlling app distribution that undermines cross-platform technologies, using private APIs to disrupt cross-platform technologies, and utilizing contracts to establish or maintain a monopoly.

During a press conference held by the DOJ, US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, “We allege that Apple has consolidated its monopoly power by making other products worse, not by improving its own products.” He accused Apple of engaging in “unlawful, exclusionary behavior” to uphold its monopoly, warning that if unchecked, Apple will only strengthen its smartphone monopoly.

In response to the allegations, Apple issued a statement to the BBC, denying the claims and asserting that the lawsuit threatens the core principles that differentiate Apple products in competitive markets. The company pledged to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.

Reports suggest that the European Commission is expected to launch a similar investigation into Apple, Meta, and Google.

This is not the first time Apple has come under fire from the US government for monopolistic practices. In 2020, a report from the House of Representatives criticized Apple’s 30% App Store cut.

If the European Commission proceeds with an investigation into Apple for anti-competitive behavior, it will mark the second such inquiry in less than a month. The dispute between Epic Games and Apple escalated recently when Apple banned Epic’s developer account, only to reverse the ban after the EU intervened to investigate.

During Epic’s State of Unreal 2024 event, the company reiterated its plans to bring the Epic Games Store to iOS and Android as an app. Additionally, a new game called Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra, featuring characters like Captain America and Black Panther, was revealed using the impressive MetaHuman Creator in Unreal Engine 5.