US files lawsuit against Apple’s "monopoly power to extract more money from consumers"

It's happened… Apple is accused of driving up prices, withholding information from developers and more

US files lawsuit against Apple’s "monopoly power to extract more money from consumers"

The walled garden that locks Apple users within its safe and secure world could soon come tumbling down, as the US Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against the tech giant over claims that it has been illegally maintaining a monopoly.

This is one of Apple’s worst nightmares turned reality: another legal battle coming its way, this time for the sake of shielding its users from the dangers beyond its walls.

At least, that’s how Apple likes to frame its strict security measures; others see it as an excuse to monopolise the use of iOS hardware, enabling Apple to drive up prices uncontested and render its users reliant on Apple tech.

Hence the US Department of Justice, together with 16 state and district attorneys general, filing this lawsuit. They hope to smash down the wall and allow users to explore the wilds beyond, and to prevent Apple from making up and implementing the rules for its consumers, developers, publishers, artists, and everyone else who uses its technology.

Security or monopoly?

Given Apple’s observed tendency to give developers the bare minimum in ways of freedom and support - now legally required in Europe to let devs launch their own app stores, but still setting the rules for entry and obfuscating the process as much as possible - it was only a matter of time before another challenge came Apple’s way.

Now, here it is.

The US Department of Justice's new antitrust lawsuit argues that Apple drives up its prices, imposes contractual restrictions on developers, withholds critical access from them, and makes it difficult for an Apple user to move away from its hardware due to compatibility issues. Apple Watches need to be paired with an iPhone, for example, while iPhones have a limited ability to pair with third-party watches.

The new legal fight reaches much further into Apple's structure and practices than the European Union's Digital Markets Act ever dared and is Apple's worst nightmares made real.

This "threatens who we are"

In addition to the above Apple is also accused of blocking cloud streaming apps that could lower the spec requirements for hardware, and would thus lower costs.

"Apple exercises its monopoly power to extract more money from consumers, developers, content creators, artists, publishers, small businesses, and merchants, among others," the US Department of Justice stated.

Fred Sainz, a spokesperson for Apple, has responded in a statement that this suit "threatens who we are" and that Apple is set apart from its competitors by its principles, which are now being put at risk.

"If successful, it would hinder our ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple - where hardware, software, and services intersect. It would also set a dangerous precedent, empowering government to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology. We believe this lawsuit is wrong on the facts and the law, and we will vigorously defend against it," he added.

Since the EU's Digital Markets Act kicked in, alternative app stores have finally been enabled in Europe in what marks the first-ever fragmentation of the operating system.

Users outside of Europe, meanwhile, are denied alternative app store features but do at least have 118 new emojis.

It looks as though - if the US Department of Justice get their way - US Apple users could soon be getting a whole lot more besides.

News Editor

Aaron is the News Editor at and has an honours degree in Creative Writing.
Having spent far too many hours playing Pokémon, he's now on a quest to be the very best like no one ever putting words in the right order.