US Department of Justice Accuses Apple of Antitrust Violations in Smartphone Market

The United States Department of Justice has accused Apple Inc. of monopolizing the US smartphone market by violating federal antitrust laws. The complaint alleges that Apple has engaged in exclusionary and anti-competitive conduct that stifles competition and harms both consumers and developers. This has resulted in fewer choices, higher prices, lower quality products, and reduced innovation. The Department of Justice claims that Apple maintains its monopoly power not by offering superior products but rather through strategies that degrade the functionality of competing products and services.

  • Apple’s share of the US performance smartphone market exceeds 70%, and the entire US smartphone market exceeds 65%.
  • The US Department of Justice alleges that Apple has maintained monopoly power by violating antitrust laws, leading to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.
  • Apple is accused of employing exclusionary conduct that diminishes the functionality of third-party apps and accessories.
  • For over a decade, Apple has charged up to a 30% commission on App Store downloads and in-app purchases.
  • The tech giant has suppressed the emergence of cloud streaming apps and ‘super apps’ that could reduce dependency on Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Apple is also criticized for degrading the quality of cross-platform messaging between iPhone and non-Apple users, compelling a perception that rival smartphones are of lower quality.
  • The complaint includes allegations that Apple restricts access to necessary interfaces for third-party apps to function effectively on its operating system.
  • Apple is said to make it difficult for iPhone users to use non-Apple smartwatches and has blocked the development of competing digital wallets on the iPhone.
  • The Justice Department asserts that Apple inserts itself in the payment process between iPhone users and card issuers, compromising privacy and security.
  • The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously enforcing antitrust law to protect consumers from monopolistic practices that lead to increased costs and limited choices.

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