Feds Sue Apple for Basically Monopolizing Entire Smartphone Experience

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A new antitrust lawsuit has been brought forth by the Department of Justice along with 16 state and district attorneys general against Apple, alleging that the company has illegally maintained a monopoly through a series of various moves.

Some of the points raised by the DOJ are very familiar to us as Android users, including Apple’s continued suppression of quality messaging between iPhone and Android devices. We’ve talked about this at length [1] [2] [3]. Other points include Apple’s disruption of apps/services that allow for easier switching to devices other than iPhone, as well as the incompatibility of third-party smartwatches.

The DOJ also cites the blocking of third-party developers from publishing digital wallets with tap-to-pay functionality for the iPhone.

So what’s to be done about it? Thanks to The Verge for pouring through the 88-page document, we understand that the feds want the court system to stop Apple from, “using its control of app distribution to undermine cross-platform technologies such as super apps and cloud streaming apps,” prevent the company from, “using private APIs to undermine cross platform technologies like messaging, smartwatches, and digital wallets,” and keep it from, “using the terms and conditions of its contracts with developers, accessory makers, consumers, or others to obtain, maintain, extend, or entrench a monopoly.”

In a statement made by Apple, the company says, “We believe this lawsuit is wrong on the facts and the law, and we will vigorously defend against it.” In its eyes, “It would also set a dangerous precedent, empowering government to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology.”

While I think Apple makes a fair point about big government coming in and regulating these things, a similar argument could be made for what Apple has done to its customers. I imagine iPhone users could almost feel trapped into using only what Apple provides and I think this lawsuit could help address the lack of freedom/choice that the platform has.

You can expect to hear more about this in the coming months/years.

// The Verge



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