Apple antitrust suit could reportedly come as soon as March

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the primary assembly of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board with then-President Donald Trump within the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 2019.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Justice is readying an antitrust case in opposition to Apple that could come as soon as March, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, pending signoff from senior officers inside the DOJ’s antitrust division.

DOJ and Apple attorneys have met thrice over a possible suit, Bloomberg reported, citing individuals aware of the matter. The case would reportedly give attention to software program and {hardware} limitations on iPhones and iPads that impede aggressive companies.

Both the DOJ Antitrust division, below Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, and the Federal Trade Commission, below Chair Lina Khan, have taken associated motion in opposition to main tech corporations. Both enforcers have pursued instances in opposition to Google mum or dad Alphabet, and the FTC has achieved so in opposition to Amazon and Meta.

DOJ attorneys hope to file the suit inside the first quarter, the individuals acquainted instructed Bloomberg, capping a probe that has been underway since 2019.

Apple has been scrutinized and even sued over allegedly anticompetitive practices. Music streaming platform Spotify lodged a competition complaint with the European Union in 2019, alleging that Apple’s then-mandatory in-app funds system violated antitrust legislation.

Apple has additionally been mired in civil litigation filed by Fortnite maker Epic Games, hinging on whether or not Apple’s App Store guidelines violated federal antitrust statutes. The Supreme Court earlier this week declined to listen to appeals from each corporations, concluding the protracted litigation with a combined victory for Apple and Epic.

A federal decide concluded in 2021 that Apple violated a California legislation however didn’t run afoul of federal antitrust statutes. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals largely upheld that call, prompting two completely different appeals from every of the businesses. Still, following the Supreme Court’s resolution to say no listening to appeals, Apple modified its guidelines to permit app makers to hyperlink prospects to a non-Apple billing answer.

The Justice Department declined to remark. Apple didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.

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