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Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer Delivers Remarks on Lawsuit Against Apple for Monopolizing Smartphone Markets


Washington, DC
United States

Thank you, Deputy Attorney General Monaco.

I want to echo the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General’s thanks to the leadership and staff of the Antitrust Division for all their extraordinary work in promoting competition and advancing economic opportunity.

The landmark Microsoft case held a monopolist liable under the antitrust laws for leveraging its market position to undermine technologies that would have made it easier for users to choose different computer operating systems.

Today’s complaint alleges that Apple has engaged in many of the same tactics that Microsoft used. The complaint describes how Apple’s anticompetitive conduct discourages developers from offering new and innovative applications and makes it more difficult for consumers to switch to other smartphones. Apple's conduct leaves consumers with higher prices, fewer new products, and a worse user experience.

In this way, today’s complaint also reflects the broader importance of vigorous antitrust enforcement. Markets that lack competition shift power from consumers and workers to powerful corporations. A lack of competition means fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. It means fewer options and lower wages for workers. And it means that the owners of powerful corporations make more without expanding the size of the pie for anyone else. Promoting competition through antitrust enforcement levels that playing field and is critical to promoting economic opportunity and equity.

The Department has been, and remains, committed to pursuing these goals wherever anticompetitive conduct arises.

In the airline industry, we have successfully challenged mergers that would lead to higher ticket prices and fewer flight options for travelers. Earlier this month, JetBlue and Spirit announced that they were abandoning their proposed merger — a major victory for Americans who rely on competition between airlines to travel affordably.

We have also weighed in on important cases affecting how much American families pay for housing, explaining why it is unlawful for landlords to collude to raise rental prices even when AI technology is used to do that.

And we have prioritized criminal antitrust enforcement, cracking down on bid-rigging and procurement fraud schemes that victimize federal, state, and local governments – and ultimately, taxpayers.

These are just a few recent examples of the work that the Antitrust Division — and the Department more broadly — has done to ensure that the American people have equal opportunity in the marketplace. Today’s suit against Apple reflects our continued commitment to promoting competition and advancing economic justice.

I'll now turn it over to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter. 

Updated March 21, 2024