DOJ Lawsuit Predicted to Force Apple into Major Fine and Business Model Overhaul

What you should know


  • Apple faces a lawsuit from the Justice Department and 16 state and district attorneys general for antitrust violations, including blocking the development of a “super app” and contributing to the failure of the Amazon Fire Phone.
  • The lawsuit could lead to no immediate changes in Apple’s business model, but it may eventually force Apple to settle, pay a hefty fine, and compromise with developers on the App Store structure.
  • Apple’s practice of not allowing app developers to use third-party payment processors for in-app purchases outside the EU has drawn criticism and led to a significant portion of in-app purchase revenue.
  • The Department of Justice’s lawsuit might result in changes to the App Store and a massive fine for Apple, pushing the company towards a settlement to avoid a long and costly legal battle.


Full Story

Oh, boy, where do I even start? Ives dropped a bomb in his note to clients, saying, “Apple’s in a bit of a pickle, huh?” He doesn’t see Apple changing its entire business model just yet. But, let’s be real, they’ve got to sort this mess out. Settle the case, cough up a hefty fine, and maybe, just maybe, find some middle ground with those developers regarding the App Store. It’s a bit of a sticky situation.

And get this, Ives is still all in on Apple. He’s got this “Outperform rating” on their stock, aiming high at $250. Meanwhile, Apple’s shares were lounging at $172.28 last Friday. Talk about optimism, right?

Now, onto the juicy part. The lawsuit. It’s like something out of a legal drama. Filed on a Wednesday morning by the Justice Department and a squad of 16 state and district attorneys general. They’re throwing the book at Apple, accusing them of all sorts of antitrust violations. One of the claims? Apple supposedly blocked this “super app” that could’ve made switching mobile platforms a breeze. And there’s more. They’re also accused of sabotaging the Amazon Fire Phone back in 2014. Plus, making life tough for HTC and LG to get a leg up in the industry.

But wait, there’s a twist. The DOJ’s pointing fingers at Apple, saying their monopoly shenanigans forced LG to throw in the towel on Android phones. Can you believe it?

Back to Ives, though. He’s got more tea. Apple’s been ruffling feathers left and right, not letting app developers use third-party payment links for in-app purchases. Classic Apple, right? Outside the EU, they’re pocketing a sweet 15%-30% from in-app purchases, running everything through their own payment platform. But, plot twist, after the epic showdown with Epic (see what I did there?), Apple’s now letting developers include one link to a third-party payment processor. Still, they’re taking a slice of the pie, between 12% to 27%.

And who’s joining the fray? Meta Platforms, Microsoft, X, and Match Group. They’ve all filed an amicus brief supporting Epic’s claims against Apple. They’re not happy campers, especially since Apple’s in-app payment cuts have been lining their pockets, making the Services unit a goldmine. Last fiscal year? A whopping $85.20 billion in revenue.

But here’s the kicker. The DOJ’s lawsuit might just force Apple to shake things up with the App Store. And let’s not forget the looming massive fine. Ouch.

Honestly, it’s probably best for Apple to avoid getting tangled in a drawn-out, soul-sucking lawsuit. A settlement could be their golden ticket to moving past this without bleeding time and money. And I can’t help but wonder, what’s Apple’s next move? What changes are they willing to make to the App Store? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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