The DOJ’s Attack Against Apple Threatens to Harm Consumers and Stifle Innovation

Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2024) – Following the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to file a lawsuit against Apple, a diverse group of consumer advocates and industry experts have fiercely criticized the Department and DOJ Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter for pursuing a case that ultimately harms consumers, and, according to the New York Times, “would require courts to accept a redefinition of decades-old antitrust law.”

Kanter is once again putting politics over the facts of the law and U.S. consumers

The Editorial Board: The Wall Street Journal:

“The lawsuit is trying to force changes in antitrust law that Congress hasn’t passed, and the alleged benefits to consumers aren’t obvious…

“…Read DOJ’s lawsuit closely, and Apple’s main alleged victims appear to be big banks, credit-card companies…Apple’s digital wallet allows ‘users to make in-person payments by tapping their device on a payment terminal rather than tapping or swiping a physical credit card,’ DOJ says. Oh no – an Apple innovation competes with Visa…

“…One risk of this suit is that the main beneficiaries might be Chinese companies, which could gain access to Apple intellectual property and face fewer security safeguards. Chinese smart-phones dominate the global market…”

Jim Cramer, CNBC:

“Today, the United States…sued Apple, and you know what, I think it was a shameful day. A shameful day indeed because I am telling you there is no merit to this case. Apple…is the most innovative consumer product technology company ever…creating things we know and love and trust, with the highest customer satisfaction rate of any business on Earth…They care about my privacy and protect it better than any other company on Earth…Apple makes its ecosystem available to millions of developers, who in turn have hired millions of people…I know a loser case when I see one, and the United States of America v. Apple is loser.” 

Matt Schruers, Computer & Communications Industry Association:

“U.S. antitrust law protects consumers from harmful practices, but this complaint takes aim at design choices that have produced a product beloved by consumers. Consumers have ample hardware and software options to choose from and easily move to alternatives if they prefer different features. The DOJ’s complaint, if successful, could prevent Apple from offering consumers the unique products and integrated services they love.”

Joe Coniglio, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation:

“The government’s attack on Apple is a clear example of antitrust overreach. The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that Apple’s business model is littered with anticompetitive abuses. But Apple’s carefully integrated ecosystem has created a seamless, secure, high-quality user experience that has clearly benefited American consumers.

“The theory that Apple has monopoly power in mobile has already been debunked by courts in similar contexts. Alphabet’s Android competes vigorously with Apple’s iOS. Apple will also almost certainly be able to provide strong procompetitive justifications for its policies and product design decisions. Given applicable legal standards, that should prove sufficient to rebut the DOJ’s claims.”

David Williams, Taxpayers Protection Alliance:

“The DOJ is penalizing Apple for building a seamless and integrated consumer experience that provides users with goods and services that they value – all because it does not adjust to this administration’s flawed definition of competitiveness. Instead of protecting consumers, the administration is seeking to reduce consumer choice…This lawsuit fundamentally attacks consumer choice and is a waste of taxpayer money and time by the DOJ.”

The DOJ’s filing against Apple is a part of a long-running campaign that the Biden administration’s top antitrust enforcers have engaged in seeking to dismantle America’s most trusted and successful companies. 

Carl Holshouser, TechNet:

“Not surprising coming from this administration. At every turn, they’ve sent a clear signal to American companies that innovation and efforts to improve the customer experience will be met with lawsuits and red tape. The FTC, DOJ, and USTR – the three-headed-monster of anti-innovation – are actively undermining our global leadership. In the name of being tough on tech, the only thing this Administration is cracking down on is our global competitiveness…U.S. innovation is the envy of the world. So why is our government attacking American companies instead of celebrating their success?”

Carl Szabo, NetChoice:

“This new lawsuit against Apple is yet another example of the Biden administration using antitrust law as a weapon to attack U.S. businesses that Americans love, trust and value, knowing full well that the case will likely fail in court. Biden’s regulators view the process itself as the punishment, as litigation will take years to resolve, and it will cost Apple significant resources to defend itself. 

“Apple clearly isn’t harming consumers as Americans consistently rank it as one of the most trusted companies in the world. This is another hopeless lawsuit from Biden’s ideologues showing his administration isn’t protecting Americans but instead is focused on advancing a progressive agenda to undermine successful U.S. companies…”

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