Apple, Inc. AAPL, which has long been on the Department of Justice’s radar, could soon be sued by the agency.
What Happened: Lawyers at the DOJ are working on an antitrust complaint against the tech giant, Politico reported on Friday. The agency could file the suit by year’s end, it added.
Apple has been under the agency’s watchful eye since 2019 over misusing its dominant market positioning to keep app developers, smaller rivals, and competing hardware makers in check, the report said. The DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission as well as Congress have been attempting to rein in big tech companies and curb their dominance in various areas such as the internet, social media, search, and online advertising.
Munster Shrugs It Off: Commenting on the report, Loup Funds co-founder Gene Munster said outside of grabbing headlines and increasing anxiety for Apple investors, the development isn’t likely to pose a meaningful risk to Apple’s business.
That said, the analyst concurred that the outcome of a potential lawsuit could be important as it would set precedent around the App Store, which is the most vulnerable Apple business as far as regulations are concerned.
Antitrust claims related to hardware practices are harder to prove, given consumers are not forced to buy hardware but only services on top of the hardware, he said.
“Either way it will take a couple of years for this to sort out. Plenty of time for investors emotions to swing wildly on the topic,” Munster said.
Apple closed Friday’s session down 3.77% at $163.62, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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