Apple has been on the brink of an antitrust investigation in the United States for the past year, as the federal government and states have been investigating the business practices of major tech giants and listening to competitors. However, so far it has been a general look at Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Now, an official antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice and various states seems imminent to investigate Apple’s “armored control of the App Store”.
Reported by PoliticalThree anonymous sources close to the matter have shared that the Justice Department along with attorneys general from several states are “taking the first steps to launch an Apple antitrust investigation.”
Sources say discussions of Apple’s antitrust investigation in the US USA They happened as recently as last week and in particular come after two new antitrust cases at Apple started in Europe at the same time on the App Store and Apple Pay.
People said the Justice Department and AGs have spoken to several companies unhappy with Apple’s ironic control of their App Store, the source of frequent attacks by developers who say the company’s rules are applied in ways inconsistent, particularly for apps that compete with Apple’s own products, and lead to higher prices and fewer options for consumers.
Another chapter in the antitrust allegations against Apple unfolded last week just before WWDC with the Hey email app rejected initially by the App Store and then by the App Store / Phil Schiller Board of Review. What followed added more evidence to a possible antitrust lawsuit with Hey email / Basecamp CEO saying “And Phil Schiller’s suggestion that we should increase prices on iOS clients to offset Apple’s additional margin is antitrust gold.” Hello CEO Jason Fried also noted that Congressman Cicilline, chairman of the House antitrust committee, recently said in an interview that Apple’s 30% cut in app store sales is “highway theft.” .
In the end, Apple and Hey figured it out, with Hey adding a free, limited-time option in the app. But the dispute and everything that came with it will no doubt be something regulators will consider in a possible antitrust investigation.
Meanwhile, as pointed out by my colleague Ben Lovejoy, announced at WWDC this week, Apple is quietly taking steps to reduce its antitrust liability, such as opening its platforms, making some changes to its App Store policies, and giving more options to users. . He is also expected to take steps to end another of his antitrust battles in South Korea.
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