U.S. Sues Apple, Accusing It of Maintaining an iPhone Monopoly (www.nytimes.com)
from 0x1C3B00DA@kbin.social to technology@lemmy.ml on 22 Mar 2024 13:41

The lawsuit caps years of regulatory scrutiny of Apple’s wildly popular suite of devices and services, which have fueled its growth into a nearly $3 trillion public company.

#antitrust #apple #tech #technology

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autotldr@lemmings.world on 22 Mar 2024 13:45 next collapse

This is the best summary I could come up with:

The federal government’s aggressive crackdown on Big Tech expanded on Thursday to include an antitrust lawsuit by the Justice Department against Apple, one of the world’s best-known and most valuable companies.

The department joined 16 states and the District of Columbia to file a significant challenge to the reach and influence of Apple, arguing in an 88-page lawsuit that the company had violated antitrust laws with practices that were intended to keep customers reliant on their iPhones and less likely to switch to a competing device.

By tightly controlling the user experience on iPhones and other devices, Apple has created what critics call an uneven playing field, where it grants its own products and services access to core features that it denies rivals.

The lawsuit asks the court to stop Apple from engaging in current practices, including blocking cloud-streaming apps, undermining messaging across smartphone operating systems and preventing the creation of digital wallet alternatives.

In Europe, regulators recently punished Apple for preventing music streaming competitors from communicating with users about promotions and options to upgrade their subscriptions, levying a 1.8 billion-euro fine.

The government’s complaint uses similar arguments to the claims it made against Microsoft decades ago, in a seminal lawsuit that argued the company was tying its web browser to the Windows operating system, said Colin Kass, an antitrust lawyer at Proskauer Rose.

The original article contains 1,641 words, the summary contains 224 words. Saved 86%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

onlinepersona@programming.dev on 22 Mar 2024 14:01 next collapse

The government even has the right to ask for a breakup of the Silicon Valley icon.

Into what? I’d be interested in that. Really depends on the granularity of the break up. If it’s just iPhone company + mac company + smartwatch company + chip company + … , then it’ll still have the iPhone as it’s core money maker. Breaking it up into a payment processor, app store, and other stuff to make the iPhone a more open device, maybe that’d help.

In any case, about time the US actually steps into the ring.


Eldritch@lemmy.world on 22 Mar 2024 19:33 collapse

Separating software and hardware would be a good start. Though that may be a big ask as that’s been Apple’s schtick from the start. But seeing as it’s a big part of Apple’s anticompetitive practices, not outrageous.

authed@lemmy.ml on 22 Mar 2024 14:57 next collapse

Never used an IPhone… don’t miss it

Brkdncr@lemmy.world on 22 Mar 2024 15:34 next collapse

This is the most statement I’ve heard all morning.

authed@lemmy.ml on 22 Mar 2024 16:46 collapse

Maybe they meant an IPhone monopoly in the IPhone world.

[deleted] on 23 Mar 2024 04:05 collapse


authed@lemmy.ml on 23 Mar 2024 14:30 collapse

Fair point, but I never had a Mac or IPhone on principle. Because I don’t like Apple’s strict policies. I’ve owned a PC since the early 90s.

[deleted] on 23 Mar 2024 15:07 collapse


RedWeasel@lemmy.world on 22 Mar 2024 14:58 next collapse

We need to be more proactive in our regulations than just wait for a company to violate antitrust law. Capitalism isn’t good without strong regulations.

Vendetta9076@sh.itjust.works on 22 Mar 2024 18:02 collapse

Hell at this point I’d just be happy with laws that don’t enforce monopolies.

CaptObvious@literature.cafe on 22 Mar 2024 14:59 next collapse

As a former Apple fanboy and current iPhone user, even I think it’s about time that the US joined the rest of the world in reining in abusive tech monopolies. (Financial and commercial monopolies, too, but that’s a different post.)

My breaking point came when I tried to buy an Apple Watch a couple of years ago. It couldn’t even be activated without a Mac or an iPhone that was less than a year old. That’s when I gave up.

some_guy@lemmy.sdf.org on 23 Mar 2024 01:48 next collapse

They need to be reigned in, but this isn’t gonna do it. The DOJ is arguing stupid shit and shit that isn’t accurate. What we need is regulation, not shitty attempts at weak lawsuits. DOJ even refers to Apple’s plan to allow alternative stores in Europe as though that was won through a lawsuit. No, dummies. It was legislation.

CaptObvious@literature.cafe on 23 Mar 2024 03:54 collapse

I don’t disagree that legislation might be preferable, although even that would still have to be filtered through the courts for interpretation. But we all know that getting this — indeed any — legislation out of Washington isn’t possible. So suits based on existing law is the next best thing.

chris@lemm.ee on 23 Mar 2024 13:37 collapse

What? I use a three gen old iPhone and the Apple Watch I bought this year works just fine.

CaptObvious@literature.cafe on 23 Mar 2024 14:01 collapse

Then something has changed.

fuckwit_mcbumcrumble@lemmy.world on 23 Mar 2024 17:30 collapse

Nothing has really changed unless you just didn’t run the latest software on your phone. The series 8 was the first watch in a long time that needed a newer phone. But they’ve always required the latest iOS.


CaptObvious@literature.cafe on 26 Mar 2024 03:50 collapse

Friend, all I can tell you is my experience. I’m glad yours was different.

MxM111@kbin.social on 22 Mar 2024 16:12 next collapse

Not gonna happen. There is enough competition on the market for Apple to prove that they are not a monopoly. Most of the smartphones sold in US are not iPhones. It is like accusing BMW, that they sell their cars only with their part and their software.

theshatterstone54@feddit.uk on 22 Mar 2024 17:11 next collapse

If you read the article, the lawsuit is more about vendor lock-in rather than lack of competition.

MxM111@kbin.social on 22 Mar 2024 17:24 collapse

For one to use anti monopoly law, being monopoly is kind of important. If you are trying to lock in vendor while NOT being a (near) monopoly - it is not illegal per that law. There might be other regulations, that makes it illegal though, I am not a layer to know this fully. I am just conveying somebody else’s analysis who is a lawyer.

ki77erb@lemmy.world on 22 Mar 2024 19:47 collapse

Most of the smartphones sold in US are not iPhones.

This is just a demonstrably false statement that’s very easily fact checked. I’m not saying that to defend Apple. I’m a Google Pixel guy myself.

sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works on 22 Mar 2024 20:21 next collapse

Huh, looks like iOS overtook Android sometime last year…

MxM111@kbin.social on 22 Mar 2024 22:05 collapse

I stand corrected, while android dominates the world, in US iPhone share is indeed just above the half (55%). It is still not enough to call it monopoly, but it might have chance.

geemili@lemm.ee on 24 Mar 2024 17:32 collapse

The document published by the DOJ make the point that Apple has closer to 65% market share of you to by revenue, and also have a high market share amoung the teens. But I don’t get this focus on whether or not Apple is a monopoly. The lawsuit alleges that Apple has a significant market share is using anticompetitive practices to stay there.

redeyejedi@lemmy.world on 22 Mar 2024 17:02 next collapse

It’s a step in the right direction. But I don’t see anything of substance coming from this. The U.S. has become a Corporate Oligarchy. Apple has enough money and desire to fight this through appeals and lobbying. Pay attention to who they lobby and make sure they are voted out of office. It’s going to take a long time to correct what has happened over the last 20 or so years. It will require slow gradual change.

HowMany@lemmy.ml on 23 Mar 2024 18:23 next collapse

I’m still fuzzy on this - how can they be sued for having a monopoly ON THEIR PRODUCT?

geemili@lemm.ee on 24 Mar 2024 17:58 collapse

This headline is wrong. The DOJ is alleging that they are being anticompetitive in the Performance Smartphone market, and further that their anticompetitive behavior affects even the regular smartphone market.

GaryCooper@kbin.social on 13 Apr 2024 19:47 collapse

I think it will never going to happen.
They are not alone in the market, and they are certainly not monopolists.
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