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Apple Potentially Facing Antitrust Charges Among Big Tech Companies in the US

Amid DOJ's scrutiny, learn how Apple's practices tying users to its ecosystem, from iMessage to Apple Watch, may lead to a looming antitrust lawsuit.

Apple Faces Impending Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Over Ecosystem Lock-In

Apple finds itself on the brink of a federal antitrust lawsuit, as hinted by a recent report from The New York Times. Sources suggest the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is in the final stages of an inquiry into Apple's strategies aimed at retaining customers within its ecosystem.

The investigation scrutinizes Apple's barriers preventing rivals from utilizing iMessage and how the Apple Watch syncs better with iPhones compared to other brands. Moreover, it explores Apple's constraints on other financial providers from employing iPhone-specific payment services.

Though the investigation isn't finalized, senior DOJ officials review its findings. Apple engaged in multiple meetings with the DOJ, yet the crucial defense session is pending. Speculations suggest the DOJ might file the lawsuit by the first half of 2024.

This isn't the first time Apple has faced antitrust scrutiny. Prior incidents include the shutdown of the iMessage app for Android by Beeper last year, sparking renewed concerns.

Amidst similar antitrust woes for other Big Tech giants, Amazon faced a significant FTC lawsuit last year, while Google settled charges with a $700 million payout in December. Meanwhile, Microsoft grapples with ongoing FTC scrutiny over its acquisition deal with Activision Blizzard.