Apple accused of smartphone monopoly in US antitrust case

A black open apple logo in the middle of the sky

A black open apple logo in the middle of the sky


  • A US antitrust lawsuit has been filed against iPhone tech giant Apple
  • The lawsuit takes aim at Apple’s proprietary iMessage technology and the connectivity of accessories such as Apple Watch
  • Apple’s huge lead in the smartphone market have made it a threat to the “free market”, claim lawmakers


Apple has responded to our request for comment, with a message that proves the company is willing to fight against the lawsuit.

The statement reads: "At Apple, we innovate every day to make technology people love—designing products that work seamlessly together, protect people’s privacy and security, and create a magical experience for our users. This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets.

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."

The original report continues below.


Tech giant Apple has been accused of monopolizing the smartphone industry in a new US antitrust case filed against the company on Thursday.

Following controversies surrounding proprietary tech locked to the iOS ecosystem, Apple has been accused of controlling smartphone users via services such as iMessage and the ways in-house technology connects to other products.

Filed in the New Jersey federal court, Apple’s alleged monopoly has been labeled as a “broad, sustained and illegal course of conduct” that boasts an ”unlawful exclusionary behavior”. The lawsuit claims that the massive iOS lead in the smartphone market is reliant on this practice.

“Monopolies like Apple’s threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based,” claimed US attorney general Merrick Garland in a press conference via The Guardian.

The Apple antitrust case will focus on the company’s use of proprietary technology including the controversial iMessage software, the way third-party smartwatches and accessories are locked from using certain hardware features and limiting third-party wallets. Apple has been criticized for more than a decade of limiting the options of third-party companies to make a noticeable impact on the iOS market.

“Apple creates barriers and makes it extremely difficult and expensive for both users and developers to venture outside the Apple ecosystem,” Garland continued.

Of course, this is the second huge antitrust lawsuit to hit the iPhone company in the last few years. Over the better part of a half-decade, Apple has been embroiled in a lawsuit with Fortnite creator Epic Games over the company’s practice of prohibiting third-party marketplaces and external purchasing options on iOS devices. Apple lost the lawsuit.

While software functionalities such as iMessage may end up being affected by this new antitrust lawsuit, some hardware complaints seem harder to address. With devices such as Apple Watch and AirPod connectivity with iOS devices kept under wraps in an attempt to stop jailbreaking and software crackers, Apple may have a better chance defending its decision to hinder third-party accessories.

Nevertheless, Apple’s practices have already been deemed anti-competitive simply due to the company’s massive lead in the smartphone industry. Killing iMessage apps such as Beeper Mini, Apple’s recent movements to gatekeeper its platform are being extremely scrutinized by lawmakers around the world.

We have reached out to Apple for comment.

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