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Self-Publishing News: Department Of Justice Launches Antitrust Suit Against Apple Alleging Anti-Consumer Manipulation Of Its Market Dominance

Self-Publishing News: Department of Justice Launches Antitrust Suit Against Apple Alleging Anti-Consumer Manipulation of its Market Dominance

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

It’s not exactly news that Apple is, er, fond of all things proprietary. Whether it’s hardware or software, a key part of Apple’s brand strategy has been to keep you using things designed and made by Apple. As indies increasingly embrace the SelfPub3 strategy of keeping readers within our environment and selling our products direct from our sites, we get that.

Except for all its “think different” talk, Apple is hardly indie. It’s a trillion dollar company that owns, in the US, more than half the smartphone market (85% among teenagers). And the Department of Justice last week launched an antitrust lawsuit that claims Apple is using this dominant market position to lock people into its devices and software, stifling competition and innovation.

This isn’t the first time legislators have taken against Apple’s methods of keeping things end-to-end-Apple. From late 2023, new iPhones finally came with USB-C connectivity to comply with the European Union’s requirements on interoperability.

The current case focuses on the way Apple’s iPhone allegedly locks consumers in and innovation out. Practices under investigation include the inability of Apple’s group messaging platform to interact with non iPhones. The DOJ argues this means that when it comes to renewing your phone, you have little choice but to go with another iPhone.

Other claims focus on so-called super apps and cloud-based gaming apps, which the DOJ says Apple’s behaviour harms in a bid to increase people’s reliance on its hardware. The Apple watch and Apple’s digital wallet are also under fire for their alleged roles in hindering consumer choice.

The lawsuit will take considerable time, and with no real guarantee of success. But Apple is such a big part of digital life that we have no option but to follow what happens and wait to see what its effect on us might be.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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