The Justice Department could be nearing the launch of a massive lawsuit against Apple this year that would aim to target the tech giant’s alleged anticompetitive business practices, according to the New York Times. The focus would be on how Apple has used its connected ecosystem of hardware and software to make it difficult for consumers to leave the Apple bubble and for other players in the industry to compete. Specifically, according to the New York Times report, Department of Justice investigators have been looking into three pieces of that ecosystem: how iMessage prevents competitors from using Apple’s messaging app; the Apple Watch and how it works better alongside the iPhone than other companies’ devices; and Apple’s payment systems that block competitors from providing similar financial services.
If the DOJ moves forward with its lawsuit, leading antitrust expert John Kwoka, Neal F. Finnegan distinguished professor of economics at Northeastern University, says it would be the latest domino to fall in the antitrust push against Big Tech’s biggest players. Google, Amazon and Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, have all been under the antitrust microscope in the last four years.