Tennessee Attorney General Sues Apple for Market Monopoly

Tennessee joins a lawsuit against Apple for alleged smartphone market monopolization.

NASHVILLE – Tennessee has entered the legal battle against Apple Inc., with Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti announcing the state’s participation in a comprehensive civil antitrust lawsuit. The lawsuit, which includes the United States Department of Justice and 15 other state and district Attorneys General, targets Apple for purported monopolization or attempted monopolization of the smartphone markets, a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

According to Attorney General Skrmetti, Apple’s actions have significantly stifled competition within the smartphone market, to the detriment of consumers. “Apple started as the ultimate innovator,” Skrmetti remarked, expressing hope for the company’s return to its innovative roots while affirming Tennessee’s commitment to ensuring a competitive market for American consumers.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. It claims that Apple has unlawfully maintained its monopoly over smartphones by imposing restrictive contractual conditions on developers and limiting essential access points. This, the complaint argues, inhibits apps, products, and services that could decrease reliance on the iPhone, promote interoperability, and reduce costs for both consumers and developers. The complaint asserts that Apple wields its monopoly power to extract excessive amounts of money from various parties, including consumers, developers, and small businesses.

Allegations within the complaint highlight Apple’s monopoly power in both the smartphone and performance smartphone markets. It accuses Apple of engaging in a wide-ranging, sustained, and illegal course of conduct aimed at preserving its monopoly power while maximizing revenue extraction. The complaint also touches on how Apple’s conduct negatively impacts various sectors, including web browsers, video communication, and automotive services, among others.

Apple Inc., a publicly traded company headquartered in Cupertino, California, reported annual net revenues of $383 billion and a net income of $97 billion in the fiscal year 2023, making it one of the most financially successful companies globally.

The lawsuit seeks relief to restore competition to the smartphone market, advocating on behalf of the American public. Through this legal action, the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General aim to counter Apple’s alleged anticompetitive behaviors and ensure a competitive marketplace for future technologies and devices.

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