🍎 Biting The Apple
The Justice Department is mulling over moving forward with an antitrust suit against tech titan Apple by year's end, reports Politico. The suit is likely to focus on its Services business, which, according to Tech Crunch, "includes advertising, cloud services, the App Store, subscription services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music, AppleCare and more." Services are Apple's second-largest revenue stream after the iPhone itself. The DOJ has been investigating Apple since at least 2019.
Apple has been accused by numerous App Store users and competitors of engaging in unfair business practices from the likes of Fortnite, Tile, Match, and more.
According to Politico, DOJ attorneys in San Francisco have been reaching out recently "to companies that partner with Tile," and have hinted that "both Apple’s App Store and mobile phone operating systems at large are under scrutiny."
Bloomberg writes that Apple's Services business is worth some $70 billion — not bad for a company that itself has a market cap of nearly $3 trillion.
With the COVID-related shutdowns in China, Apple has seen its profits from iPhone sales hurt this year. But, as The New York Times reports, the Cupertino-based firm has been shifting its focus toward software as services, which "generated $19.6 billion in the quarter from sales of apps and Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscriptions." That equates to a 12% growth in software and services sales, which is itself the smallest increase since the start of the pandemic.
Apple has likely expected an antitrust suit for some time now, so this news comes as no surprise. For the sake of fair competition, and the overthrow of the mobile ecosystem duopoly Apple shares with Google, let’s hope the DOJ can take on such a massive opponent.