Apple may be in for trouble ahead, with the Department of Justice ramping up its antitrust investigation into the iPhone maker.
Rumors began circulating in mid-2022 that the DOJ was looking at a possible antitrust suit against Apple. The company has come under increased scrutiny for how it runs the App Store, although the DOJ’s focus expanded to include how Apple interacts with hardware developers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the DOJ is now escalating its investigation, which covers Apple’s policies regarding third-party apps in iOS, as well as whether the company abuses its position to favor its own apps and services.
The Journal’s sources say the DOJ’s escalation includes “more litigators now assigned to the case and new requests for documents and consultations with companies involved.”
The DOJ is also looking at Jonathan Kanter’s possible role. Until now, Kanter, one of the agency’s top antitrust officials, has been sidelined over a potential conflict of interest since Kanter has been a long-time antitrust attorney and critic who has represented companies in cases against Apple. The DOJ is eager to have him involved in the case, however, and has been investigating whether it is possible to do so.
The Journal’s sources could not confirm the final decision regarding Kanter but said he would likely be involved in any case against Apple.
If the DOJ’s probe moves forward, it could spell significant trouble for Apple in the US and bring the company under similar regulatory restrictions as those being imposed by the EU.