DOJ, state AGs eye potential U.S. antitrust probe of Apple over App Store

Antitrust regulators in the U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of U.S. state attorneys general are focusing on Apple and the company’s App Store.

DOJ, state AGs eye potential U.S. antitrust probe of Apple over App Store. Image: Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store

Leah Nylen for Politico:

The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are taking the first steps toward launching an antitrust probe of Apple, turning the iPhone-maker into the latest Silicon Valley giant to face legal jeopardy in Washington, three people involved in the discussions told POLITICO.

The individuals said DOJ and the AGs have spoken to several companies unhappy with Apple’s ironclad control of its App Store, the source of frequent griping by developers who say the company’s rules are applied inconsistently — particularly for apps that compete with Apple’s own products — and lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

MacDailyNews Take: The amount by which Apple Inc. has driven down software prices across the board, on every major computing platform, makes claims such as this eminently laughable.

Reuters reported in February that the Justice Department had spoken to “a handful” of app developers including parental control app Mobicip, which filed a complaint with EU authorities last year. But the more recent discussions are the clearest sign to date that U.S. antitrust authorities may soon start gathering documents and other information needed for a full-fledged probe.

MacDailyNews Take: Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for antitrust action against Apple

So, Apple’s case, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way), much less monopoly abuse (which is explicitly impossible given the nonexistence of a monopoly). You cannot abuse a monopoly and therefore face antitrust action when you do not have a monopoly to begin with.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, May 2020 (via StatCounter:

• Android: 72.60%
• iOS: 26.72%

By the way: On every iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, and iPad mini box, the potential buyer is informed of requirements, including “iTunes X.x or later required for some features” and also that an “iTunes Store account” is required. Customers are informed of the requirements prior to purchase. If the customers didn’t like the terms that came along with Apple devices, they should have opted for a pretend iPhone from any one of a dime-a-dozen handset assemblers. Then they could blissfully infest their fake iPhones with malware from a variety of sources.

Apple built the Mac. Apple built the iPhone. Apple built the iPad. Apple built the App Store. Apple created the most verdant ecosystem ever created for developers by far. Only the losers and those developers who can’t read and follow simple rules are whining incessantly.

If anything, Apple takes too little of a cut for all that the App Store provides developers. — MacDailyNews, June 21, 2020


  1. “Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for antitrust action against Apple”

    And anti-trust is not only about monopoly power, even though Apple does enjoy that in iOS App Stores. This results in censorship of the entire platform, thus inhibiting competition and innovation over property they do not even own. Users own the devices, developers own their software.

    “So, Apple’s case, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way)” but regulated where they exist…

    1. You make observations about a problem that you so not define, but no concrete conclusion, so what solution would you propose?
      I personally agree with MDN.

    1. But to your specific comment about me. You’re absolutely right, but not just me. You too. You just don’t mind.

      Apples behavior assaults a users sovereignty over their device.
      It assaults a developers sovereignty over their ideas.
      It inhibits a one on one relationship with a developers users.
      It restricts channel for developers.
      It places undue influence on users and developers post device sale.

      In fact, I may actually write a letter!

      1. Androids and Micro-People everyday say Apple you are small piece of the market, but Apple is the profitable high margin part, I can live with that like living with a 911 or an Amiga back in the day easy.

        If you don’t want Apple don’t buy it waste your time with crap tech, Apple right here right now is the best in tech, Apple Silicon is already blowing the minds of the geek world view.

        1. iOS is its own market and it’s huge. Anyway what I brought up is valid for even one customer or developer.

          Oh… he only embezzled the smallest of segment of the market…

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