DOJ announcement into Apple's monopolistic practices

Well, we’ve had a good run. Good luck everyone.

The US Justice Department will file a blockbuster antitrust lawsuit against Apple

EDIT: and after listening to the announcement:

Wow. Merrick Garland’s announcement was scathing and surprisingly detailed. In short: Apple rose to smart-phone dominance not by selling superior hardware and software, but by illegally restricting competing apps and payment systems on the iPhone. No mention was made of other Apple hardware. iMessage was specifically called out in a fair amount of detail. For those who know nothing about the technical stuff (read: average Joe consumer), Apple comes across as pure evil in Garland’s accounting of them.

It could be rough going for the next year while this plays out.

I’m sure Apple will try to fight this for all they’re worth - which is a little less now that it was 4 hours ago - but based on Apple’s poor track record winning big lawsuits, I’m not optimistic about the outcome.


Bah - Humbug!! Jealousy by the unable competitors, looking for free access to a huge market… Make something better! Ridiculous, to my mind, but I’m obviously prejudiced from the beginnings whenI bought my first Apple ][+, and beyond… Didn’t invest until the '90s, but have bought lots of hardware over the years as well as software from MacDraft to M$ Office, to Adobe products, etc. I wanted to avoid the crappy competitors, had to fight them too much on the job, don’t have any in my home for the last 20 years!!

Anyway, Apple will fight it out:

Apple, in a statement, said the lawsuit would set a “dangerous precedent” and hinder its ability to make the compelling and consumer-friendly technology that have made the company one of the most valuable in the world.

“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,” the company said in its statement. “This lawsuit threatens who we are and the principles that set Apple products apart in fiercely competitive markets.”

It’s just irritating to be hassled by wannabe’s…


As a long time AAPL owner and therefor a “fanboi”, I admit that many of Apple’s restrictions seem onerous. But I’m trying to make sense of one of Garland’s statements about Apple having 65% of the (presumable U.S.) smartphone market, unless he was only referring to smartphones selling for $1000 or more.

From Apple iPhone market share 2007-2023 | Statista, Apple has only been shipping at most 25% of the units sold worldwide per quarter.

But this source - iPhone vs Android User Stats (2024 Data). - says the current U.S. share is less than 60%:

Here’s a quick look at the difference between iPhone and Android users:

  • In the US, iPhone has a 57.93% market share.
  • As of 2023, Android has a 70.29% global market share.
  • iPhone users have a 43.7% higher average salary than Android users.
  • Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to be iPhone users.
  • 47% of former Android users say iPhone provides a better user experience.
  • 29% of former iPhone users say Android is more affordable.

So, is 60% of the U.S. market a monopoly?


According to CNBC, Garland said, “And as outlined in our complaint, we allege that Apple has consolidated its monopoly power not by making its own products better, but by making other products worse.”


The alleged illegal monopoly “makes it difficult and expensive for users and developers to leave the Apple ecosystem”, but if Android made a better product in the US, consumers can jump ship.

I don’t see that Apple is under any obligation to make offerings from other companies better than Apple’s own offerings, any more than Apple is obligated to dumb down its own products.


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Exactly, is Toyota obligated to provide access to GM or Ford parts & services, much less their software… It’s crazy that the DOJ fell into this game… Hopefully Apple can fend it off, sooner the better…

Or does Walmart have to allow Bestbuy shelf space in their stores? But I don’t think these analogies works in the case of Apple. What other businesses is Apple’s app store like?

Another article… DOJ is wasting their/our time…


That’s brilliant. All the news articles that we’ve been reading for months or more about Apple opening up to things like RCS and whatnot seem to have been completely missed by the DOJ.

In other news, Evercore maintains an Outperform ($220 target) despite the suit:

"We continue to view antitrust as more of a headline risk than a financial risk in the U.S., and unless we see new legislation passed, it is unlikely that Apple will be forced to meaningfully change its App Store fee or third-party App Store polices. "


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Well, they move slow, I guess, the DOJ, but to have missed the updates, kinda sad, really…

Yeah, maybe not. There is some behavior here that is … unseemly. It reminds me (in a different way) of what Microsoft was doing in the 90’s.

Read it here:

Companies say Apple copies their ideas and abuses the patent system. “First, you get all excited. Then you realize that the long-term plan is to do it themselves and take it all.” It’s a claim that Apple fiercely disputes.

It sounded like a dream partnership when [Apple] reached out to Joe Kiani, the founder of a company that makes blood-oxygen measurement devices. He figured his technology was a perfect fit for the Apple Watch.

Soon after meeting him, Apple began hiring employees from his company, [Masimo] including engineers and its chief medical officer. Apple offered to double their salaries, Mr. Kiani said. In 2019, Apple published patents under the name of a former Masimo engineer for sensors similar to Masimo’s, documents show. The following year, Apple launched a watch that could measure blood oxygen levels.

“When Apple takes an interest in a company, it’s the kiss of death,” said Mr. Kiani. “First, you get all excited. Then you realize that the long-term plan is to do it themselves and take it all.”

In case you can’t get to the article, they note several instances of Apple inquiring about certain products or procedures, going through (what are apparently) sham negotiations, only to go silent, hire the firms engineers Ana’s coders and then bring out the feature on their own.

Among others they go through the heart monitor, blood oxygen monitor, a watch band with health features, and more.

I’m trying to find a way to “gift” the article, but no luck so far.


Good artists copy; great artists steal” - Steve Jobs

Don’t know if this will work. While I can’t find a way to share the WSJ article from the paper, they have an unlocked version circulating (officially) on Facebook. So maybe this link will allow non-subscribers to see the piece I’m talking about.

FWIW, I’ve been an Apple customer since my first Apple ][+. I like the company, but I don’t like some of the business practices outlined herein.

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I’ve been a stockholder since the late 90’s - I only own an iPhone - I dislike their products - I hate how they continue to just change things in my iPhone settings (shakes fist at clouds) - I dislike some of their business decisions - but I’m happy to deposit my dividends; so I’m good!


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So far, DW’s Watch gave her an early warning on her afib, her Doc checked and has been treating for it for the last couple years… Mine is a 5, so no oxygen checks, so I have a little jobber at hand, instead, been holding off, waiting to see what other medical advances they include. What and how they came to include the tech isn’t as important to me as the end product, DW is hanging onto her 6 until they find a way to do blood pressure, but I don’t see that in the near future, so far…

We’ve been through all the old Mac vs PC games of the early days, I happily invested back in the ;90s, dividends add to our annual, help pay for the stuff we manage to gather… Rises, drops, splits, headaches, not many, all part of the long game… Hated to see Jon Ivy leave, but he felt it was time… Had lots of good times back when MacWorld SF was going, spend all day cruising Moscone Hall, meeting developers, other users, before hitting the road home… Some of our local User Group members spent the weekend in SF, totally immersed in the latest software, hardware… Yes, Apple][+ onward, still an Apple//e in the garage along with a variety of other Apple stuff, Newton, camera, even an Apple Beach towel from one of the MWSF trips… Redbooks, have two copies… Old Apple Tapes for the ][+ times before DiskII came along… Quite a ride… All while forced to use DOS & Win NT at work… Yucky!

Sadly, Apple was supposed to be the antidote to Microsoft’s toxic “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish”

If nothing else, hopefully the DOJ will get Apple to learn to play nice, as the EU already has

This article is from 2023, and the topics discussed in the article seem less relevant to the antitrust allegations than to patent issues.


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A couple of nice quotes by long-time, former Apple analyst (retired) Walter Mossberg.

" The DOJ acts as if there’s a right for competitors to use iMessage tech, which is proprietary to Apple. But since when must companies do such a thing?"


“… the crux of the lawsuit seems to be about Apple’s philosophy of building products and services, and punishing the company for not having a business model like that of its competitors.”

And from Steven Sinofsky (formerly of Microsoft, so eat it, Apple haters), “[The DOJ case] is weak and poorly framed and looks to me a lot like they could not figure out what to do with an obvious duopoly where the market is being incredibly well-served by two very different approaches, a lot of happy customers, and few loud and vocal companies complaining who already lost in court once.”



Wow, hadn’t heard of Mossberg in ages, likely a couple decades…

It’s just sad, with all the nastiness out there being pumped out every day in other worlds, that the DOJ let themselves be used by the so called competitors… So now more wasted time, resources spent tilting at windmills…

This aspect of the DOJ case against Apple seems pretty weak:

A new report highlights what probably amounts [to] the most most absurd stretch in the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit. A section notes that Apple last year spent half as much on research and development (R&D) as it did on AAPL share buybacks, presenting this as ‘evidence’ of the lack of competition faced by the company.

It contrasts this with Google, whose R&D spend matched that of its share buybacks, suggesting this means the search giant faces greater competition …

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