India Breaking Buzz

Apple is being sued by the US government for monopolising smartphones

<p>In a historic step, the US Department of Justice filed a major antitrust action against Apple with fifteen states, alleging the tech giant was monopolising the smartphone industry. This legal action, which represents a strong attack on Big Tech, is reminiscent of lawsuits that were brought during both the Trump and Biden administrations against major business players like Google, Meta, and Amazon.</p>
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<p>Concerning Apple’s business practices, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “Consumers should not have to pay higher prices because companies violate the antitrust laws.” He issued a warning about Apple’s expanding monopoly in the smartphone industry and the possibility that, in the absence of competition, it will further solidify its control over the market.<br />
With some iPhone models costing as much as $1,599, Apple’s pricing policies have come under scrutiny despite the company’s substantial industry profits. The complaint also targets the fees Apple reportedly charges credit card firms and software developers, among other partners, inflating customer expenses and boosting Apple’s profits.<br />
Apple’s long-standing business strategy, which places a premium on total control over the hardware and software ecosystem, is at the heart of the government’s complaints. The Justice Department claims that this paradigm restricts consumer choice and stifles competition, especially when it comes to how applications work with Apple hardware. The lawsuit seeks to undermine this strategy by promoting more customer choice and transparency in the smartphone industry.<br />
Following the announcement, Apple’s stock dropped 4.1%, indicating investor apprehension about the lawsuit’s possible ramifications. The business, however, has categorically refuted the accusations, claiming that the litigation goes against its core values and may hinder its capacity for innovation.<br />
The complaint filed by the justice department focuses on certain markets, including messaging applications, wearables, and digital wallet services, where it claims Apple has suppressed competition. The complaint also makes reference to Steve Jobs’ private correspondence, which raises questions about his desire to lock developers and customers within Apple’s ecosystem.<br />
This legal battle is not unique; Apple is also juggling business litigation, most notably from Epic Games, and has been subject to comparable antitrust probes in Europe, Japan, and South Korea. Furthermore, recent actions taken under the Digital Markets Act of the European Union have compelled Apple to modify its App Store guidelines, demonstrating the rising international backlash against its business methods.<br />
The US lawsuit demands significant adjustments to Apple’s business practices, perhaps including the company’s dissolution or reduction in size. Nonetheless, some experts contest the claims of monopolies, citing the very competitive nature of the global smartphone industry. One such expert is Professor Michael Santoro of Santa Clara University.</p>

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