A major new Apple antitrust development will reportedly land soon. That’s according to the New York Times, reporting today that the United States Department of Justice has reached “late stages” of its monopoly investigation of Apple.
Citing sources, the report says a sweeping antitrust case against Apple could be filed by the Justice Department in the first half of 2024. Apple’s so-called stickiness or walled garden strategy is at the center of the investigation. From the New York Times:
Specifically, investigators have examined how the Apple Watch works better with the iPhone than with other brands, as well as how Apple locks competitors out of its iMessage service. They have also scrutinized Apple’s payments system for the iPhone, which blocks other financial firms from offering similar services, these people said.
The Apple suit would likely be even more expansive than previous challenges to the company, attacking its powerful business model that draws together the iPhone with devices like the Apple Watch and services like Apple Pay to attract and keep consumers loyal to its products.
For its part, Apple has defended itself against antitrust claims by insisting that it does not hold a monopoly in any market. However, the wide sweeping investigation is said to encompass new areas such as Apple not allowing cloud gaming services, how AirTags integrate with iPhone, and iMessage exclusivity to Apple devices.
Apple Watch, which is currently at the center of patent litigation in the US, is also a focal point based on how it integrates better with iPhones than other smart watches.
What next? It sounds like the DOJ is monitoring how Apple complies with ongoing European regulations before it formally files its lawsuit. Read the full article here.
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