DOJ Launches Major Lawsuit Against Apple

The Department of Justice announced in late March that it had filed a massive antitrust lawsuit against Apple for what it described as engineering an illegal smartphone monopoly that artificially inflates prices and boxes out competitors, the Associated Press reported.

In a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Justice Department alleged that the tech giant had monopoly power over the smartphone market and leveraged that control to “engage in a broad, sustained, and illegal course of conduct”

In short, because Apple’s iPhones use proprietary software and apps that do not work on Android phones, the Justice Department has accused the company of locking its customers into its technology while “locking its competitors out of the market.”

The lawsuit seeks to stop Apple from undermining its competitors and prevent it from continuing to create contracts with app developers and makers of its accessories that allow Apple to “obtain, maintain, extend or entrench” its monopoly.

In a statement responding to the lawsuit, Apple denied the Justice Department’s allegations and accused the federal government of overreach.

The company argued that it was not under any obligation to use the designs or policies of its competitors, especially if they would worsen an iPhone user’s experience with the product.

The Justice Department noted in its complaint that customers have complained that Apple iPhones distinguish between iMessage text messages and SMS text messages by making iMessage texts blue while the SMS messages are green.

According to Apple, it has not developed an iMessage version that would be compatible with Androids since it would not be able to provide the same level of user experience and security that would meet Apple’s standards.

The company argued that the lawsuit would threaten Apple’s innovation to make “technology people love” that also protects users’ “privacy and security.” It said if the lawsuit succeeded, it would hamper the company’s “ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple” while setting a “dangerous precedent” by empowering the government “to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology.”