US Department of Justice conducts antitrust investigation into Apple

The US Department of Justice is said to be conducting an antitrust investigation into Apple. The ministry would currently collect all information about the American company’s anti-competitive behavior and decide later whether it will actually go to trial.

Previously, the ministry only investigated potential anti-competitive behavior regarding Apple’s practices in the App Store. But now the ministry would according to Politico also investigate whether Apple’s control over hardware hinders the competition. The ministry mainly looks at the complaints that Spotify and Tile have already formulated in the past about Apple. Spotify, Basecamp, Deezer, Tile and Epic Games, along with a number of other companies, formed a coalition in 2020 to lobby against Apple’s alleged App Store monopoly.

According to Politico, the US Department is also awaiting a court decision in the Epic Games vs Apple case. A federal American judge previously ruled that Apple is not a monopolist in the distribution of apps, but that the American company does impose restrictions on developers in some cases. The judge then referred to the mobile game market. Apple would control 55 percent of that market, including “exceptionally high profit margins.” But because Apple’s market share did not exceed 55 percent, the company cannot be found guilty of a competition violation. Both Apple and Epic Games appealed the judge’s ruling. On October 21, Apple and Epic Games will argue their case.

Epic vs Apple