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DOJ takes a step closer to Apple antitrust suit

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
The U.S. Justice Department might hit Apple with an antitrust lawsuit before the end of 2022.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly moved closer to filing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The DOJ has investigated the iPhone-maker over the past several years and begun to actually write a potential suit.

The government agency has looked into many aspects of Apple’s business and there’s no clear word on whether the complaint will be about the App Store or something else.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays $450 million to settle e-books suit

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iBooks
Apple was accused of trying to hurt rival e-book sellers.
Photo: Apple

July 16: Today in Apple history: Apple settles e-books lawsuit for $450 million July 16, 2014: Apple agrees to pay $450 million to resolve the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against the company over e-book pricing in the iBooks Store.

Cupertino stood accused of conspiring with five major book publishers to fix e-book prices. The five publishers all settled their claims outside of court, leaving only Apple to go to trial.

Leaked ‘final’ EU antitrust bill looks bad for Apple

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The European Union takes another step toward rough regulations on tech giants like Apple.
The European Union takes another step toward tough regulations on tech giants like Apple.
Photo: Freestocks.org

The European Union may force Apple to make big changes to its App Store as well as services like FaceTime and Messages, if a leaked version of an EU antitrust proposal becomes law.

The draft is said to be the “final version” of the Digital Markets Act, provisionally approved by EU regulators in March. It seeks to restrict how tech giants operate in order to foster greater competition.

Russia might force Apple to change critical App Store payment policy

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
Russia joined the voices around the world demanding Apple loosen its grip on the App Store and in-app purchases.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Add Russia to the list of countries investigating the App Store. It is reportedly looking into whether Apple’s policy forbidding iPhone developers from telling customers about alternate — and possibly cheaper — payment options is a violation of its antitrust laws.

The U.S. and other countries are asking that same question.

New UK antitrust rules could fine tech giants big bucks for breaking rules

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New antitrust measures are brewing in the United Kingdom.
New U.K. antitrust rules are brewing.
Photo: Colin Watts/Unsplash CC

The United Kingdom is developing new antitrust measures and could fine tech giants up to 10% of their annual revenue for breaking the rules. The Digital Markets Unit’s plan is intended to make it easier for U.K. businesses — such as startups, news publishers and advertisers — to compete with established giants like Apple and Amazon.

“Tech has transformed our lives for the better, whether it’s helping us to stay in touch with our loved ones, share content, or access the latest news,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, the U.K.’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, in a press release Tuesday. “Nobody wants to see an unassailable monopoly, and our common sense reforms will help protect consumers, support ground-breaking new ideas and level the playing field for businesses.”

House committee approves antitrust legislation that could hit Apple hard

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Apple's antitrust woes look set to continue.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

A House committee approved antitrust legislation Thursday that threatens many big tech companies — Apple included. In a 24 to 20 vote early this morning, the committee approved the American Choice and Innovation Online Act.

The bill, which still needs to pass the full House, seeks to stop big platforms from advantaging their own products or services over those made by others. That could affect Apple, which not only owns and operates the App Store distribution platform, but also makes products that compete with some of the apps distributed through said store.

Apple thinks antitrust reform could create ‘race to the bottom’ for security

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Privacy
Apple says proposed antitrust regulation would endanger consumer privacy.
Photo: Apple

Apple thinks five pieces of antitrust reform legislation could undermine innovation and competition in tech, as well as creating a “race to the bottom” for security and privacy. Apple laid out its concerns in a letter sent ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the proposed laws.

The letter — sent to chairmen Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, and ranking members Jim Jordan and Ken Buck — lays out Apple’s arguments for why the government needs to reconsider the five bills.

Apple says allowing sideloading iPhone apps would ‘actually eliminate choice’

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
Stick to the App Store, Apple says.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s none too keen on sideloading, the process of allowing apps to be installed on iPhones and iPads from outside of the App Store. While some critics take issue with this as an example of Cupertino’s uncompromising monopolistic tendencies, Apple — unsurprisingly — has a different take.

In an interview with Fast Company, timed to coincide with publication of a white paper on the subject, Apple’s head of user privacy, Erik Neuenschwander, explains the company’s take.

Spoiler alert: It’s all about security.