The United States Department of Justice has recently escalated its antitrust investigation into tech giant Apple’s business, sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. The DOJ has assigned more litigators to the case, requested new documents, and is consulting with companies, they added.
According to the report, the investigation, which was first launched back in 2019, is focused on how the iPhone-maker’s policies affect third-party software and whether its iOS operating system gives its own products an edge over those offered by third-party developers.
While Apple hasn’t shared a comment on the new report, it has said before that it doesn’t operate its business in a way hurting third party developers, and that it embraces competition on its app marketplace.
Due to legal challenges in other markets, Apple has had to roll out several changes to its business before. For example, it now lets apps in South Korea and dating apps in the Netherlands to use third party payment methods. It’s also reportedly getting ready to allow its users in Europe to sideload apps and install alternative app stores in order to comply with the upcoming EU requirements.
Meanwhile, the news comes weeks after the Justice Department and 8 U.S. states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over its dominance in ad tech.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Commerce Department also recently shared the findings of its investigation launched in 2021 following Joe Biden’s executive order, saying that both Apple and Google play a ‘’significant gatekeeping role by controlling (and restricting) how apps are distributed’’.
In addition, the Japan Fair Trade Commission last week announced the findings of its probe opened in October, saying Apple and Google don’t face enough competition pressure in the country.