US sues Apple in iPhone monopoly lawsuit

Mar 25, 2024

The US Government has filed an antitrust case against Apple. The lawsuit alleges that the Cupertino company has monopolized the smartphone industry.

The case was jointly filed by the Justice Department, 16 States, and the District of Columbia, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

This isn't something out of the blue, as we have previously reported, the U.S. Department of Justice has been preparing an antitrust case against the Electronics giant over the past few months. It had held discussions with the company before finalizing the lawsuit.

Apple ran into legal trouble at the end of 2023, when the U.S. International Trade Commission banned the company from importing and selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the U.S. The Commission found Apple guilty of violating patents related to the SpO2 sensor (pulse oximeter), which belonged to Masimo. The ban however was short-lived, as Apple was allowed to sell the wearables once again, with a catch, it had to disable the SpO2 sensor's functionality, so you couldn't use it to measure blood oxygen levels, even though the hardware for the feature existed.

The tech mogul's troubles were just beginning, as it had to open up the iOS ecosystem to third-party app marketplaces in the European Union region. However, the company's compliance with the Digital Markets Act has come under scrutiny due to several limitations that it has imposed for app developers, and third-party app stores.

US Justice Department sues Apple in antitrust case

Now, the US Govt has claimed that Apple has selectively imposed restrictions that prevent users from switching from its devices. It also says that there are limitations for the functionality of third-party apps, which gives Apple's own apps an unfair advantage over the competition. The complaint alleges that Apple has undermined messaging across operating systems by excluding its own apps from rival platforms, and that this makes it less secure and less innovative for users.
This is seen as one of the reasons that the company has made it hard for users to leave iPhone, as many iOS apps are not available on Android. The lawsuit alleges that Apple is in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and users its monopoly power to extract high prices from consumers, developers, etc.

The antitrust case also points out that Apple blocks cloud-streaming apps that allow users to stream apps and games. To be fair to Apple, it did open up the market recently to allow cloud-gaming platforms, so services like Xbox's Game Pass Ultimate and Nvidia's GeForce Now can be used on iPhone and iPad.

Apple's failure to provide tap-to-pay (Apple Pay) functionality for third-party digital wallets is also being scrutinized. The lawsuit points out that Apple's restrictions also affect web browsers, video communication, location services, advertising and other services.

Another argument made by the Justice department targets Apple's restrictions for third-party smartwatches. Apple does not allow other OEMs to access the APIs required for a watch to read/write fitness data like the Apple Watch can, third-parties have limited access to the data. This is an unfair restriction that stifles the competition.

The company has reportedly claimed that it tried to make the Apple Watch compatible with Android phones, but failed to find a way to do so. I don't buy this argument. Apple has an Android app for Apple Music, which as you know is a subscription-based service. It shows that the company can, and will provide an app for Android devices, if there is an incentive for it. So, why didn't Apple create Android apps for Apple Watch and Health? Well, you could argue that if it had done so, Android users would buy the wearable, but they won't buy an iPhone. By keeping the Watch exclusively compatible with iPhones, it has created an artificial market for the wearable and the iPhone, which is a monopoly.

You can read about the 88-page lawsuit on the US Justice Department's website.


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US sues Apple in iPhone monopoly lawsuit
Apple faces legal trouble in the US for monopolizing the smartphone market.
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  1. John IL said on March 26, 2024 at 3:57 pm

    So DOJ will waste a bunch of taxpayer money going after Apple. Not to mention this type of case will be tied up in the judicial system for a long time. I don’t see this as being the best use of our legal system. I guarantee the end user of Apple products will not benefit much if at all.

  2. Anonymous said on March 25, 2024 at 6:32 pm

    I would say that they are sheep to a lesser extent in recent years. I don’t use either, but the fact is that MacBooks are the best choice in many categories since the M1 CPU, and iPhones are significantly more efficient than Android on very similar hardware practically since their introduction.

    1. Josie said on March 29, 2024 at 5:51 pm

      “MacBooks are the best choice in many categories since the M1 CPU”

      Unpatchable vulnerability in Apple chip leaks secret encryption keys

      You sure about that?

    2. Anonymous said on March 26, 2024 at 11:56 am


  3. Paul said on March 25, 2024 at 6:11 pm

    So much negativism about a company that makes America a great nation. What would the world be without GAFAM or should a say GAMAM, behind all those great company’s are great man, persons, who want the best for you. And of course they want to know everything about you, no third party but hey see what they give in return, they want to play monopoly with you.
    How sweet

    I use a Nokia 302 like an home phone

  4. Bobo said on March 25, 2024 at 4:44 pm

    Will this change anything? No, because americans are Apple-sheep to the bone. They seriously believe that you are a better and more successful person if you use apple products. It’s quite astounding, people spend welfare money on iphones to be “better” than those who buy food for welfare money. Also, in America there are people who don’t date people that use Android phones. This type of sick behaviour cannot be changed. Sheep. Very stupid sheep. So, good luck with the’s a waste of time and money.

    1. Tom Hawack said on March 25, 2024 at 5:39 pm


      > “(…) americans are Apple-sheep to the bone. They seriously believe that you are a better and more successful person if you use apple products.”

      Not only Americans I’m afraid. The ‘Apple’ logo is perceived as equivalent to the the bonnet mascot sculpture on Rolls-Royce cars, the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ :). Not sure the equivalence is pertinent but they must think so!

      > “Also, in America there are people who don’t date people that use Android phones.”

      Now that’s one thing I didn’t know. I remain “stunned immaculate” as I (too) often say, paraphrasing words of a Jim Morrison’s song (forgot which one:).

      Globally speaking the world is facing “new rich” persons and mentalities who love to show-off. This is world-wide. See for instance the behavior of some newly enriched Russians on the Riviera here in France… Good Lord.

  5. TelV said on March 25, 2024 at 3:12 pm

    Apple, among other so called gatekeepers are also in the sights of the EU’s Digital Markets Act from today as they investigate Apple’s monopoly according to the Guardian newspaper:

    Good job too. These giant companies have way too much power over our lives dictating what we can and can’t do with their products.

  6. Nosedive said on March 25, 2024 at 12:54 pm

    Good, finally. Its time we crack this Apple opened. They need to be sued to the ground.

  7. Milan said on March 25, 2024 at 11:55 am

    DOJ is not about justice, its a political tool. And since Biden admin is strapped for cash, are they doing what EU tends to do with big tech companies. They shake them down for loose change. They bring in anti trust lawsuits in EU against tech giants, shake them down for billions, and never close them so they can do it again when they need some quick cash. No EU citizen benefits , its just a game bureaucrats pay with big tech. Shakedown operation. Hey, that is a nice monopoly you have there, it would be shame something happen to it. Pay us in unmarked bills on the corner of bureaucracy and corruption, every Tuesday of the month, and will let you not only operate your monopoly, will make sure no one challenges your monopoly. The state controlled media, gets some headlines and corruption marches on. That is how this game it played.

    1. Anonymous said on March 26, 2024 at 3:51 pm

      So Big Tech should be allowed to do what ever they want? Interesting.

    2. Brad said on March 25, 2024 at 8:53 pm

      Pretty much all of what you said is complete nonsense.

  8. John G. said on March 25, 2024 at 11:53 am

    It’s probably a weird thing from the US, because everyone knows that Apple is not a bird.
    And you know that a bird is a bird, a bird is a bird…

    By the way, Telegram is not suspended yet at Spain, very curious also.

  9. Anonymous said on March 25, 2024 at 9:53 am

    The elections are coming. Donations were clearly not at the expected level.

  10. Tom Hawack said on March 25, 2024 at 9:27 am

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, this is maybe not the beginning of the end but hopefully the end of the beginning of Apple’s monopolistic policies and strategy.

  11. Anonymous said on March 25, 2024 at 9:21 am

    I thought companies were buying the US government and they call that lobbying, I guess Apple cheaped out and didn’t pay enough. I hope it works out for them ..

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