Elizabeth Warren Calls To Wrangle In Apple ‘Monopoly’ On Smartphone Market

by State Brief

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has issued a call for breaking up Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market.

In a Thursday video shared to X, Warren noted Apple‘s iMessage’s application excluded non-iPhone users from participating in Apple’s group chat feature. While iPhone-to-iPhone text messages use Apple’s iMessage service and appear in a blue text bubble, Warren noted texts from users outside of Apple’s ecosystem appeared with a green text bubble, warning the differentiation was exclusionary.

“Green texts on iPhones. They’re ruining relationships,” Warren said. “From sports teams chats to birthday chats to vacation planning, they’re getting cut out.”

Warren claimed non-iPhone users missed out on other plans and conversations due to Apple’s iMessages ecosystem.

“And who’s to blame here? Apple,” she said. “That’s just one of the dirty tactics that Apple uses to keep a stranglehold on the smartphone market.”

The Massachusetts senator went on to claim Apple used their “monopoly” on the smartphone market to lock American consumers into their service while generating billions in revenue. Warren further noted Apple generates revenue when users employ iPhone’s Apple Pay service and has blocked the use of Android software Beeper Mini, which allowed non-iPhone users to register a phone number with iMessage in order to participate in iMessage’s ecosystem off platform.

“That’s why last month, the Department of Justice sued Apple for its broad-based exclusionary conduct,” she said of the DOJ’s March lawsuit against the tech giant.

“That’s the right thing to do,” she said. “It’s time to break up Apple.”

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland lamented Apple’s iMessage software and business practices, saying, “Consumers should not have to pay higher prices because companies violate the antitrust laws.”

“We allege that Apple has maintained monopoly power in the smartphone market, not simply by staying ahead of the competition on the merits, but by violating federal antitrust law,” Garland said. “If left unchallenged, Apple will only continue to strengthen its smartphone monopoly. The Justice Department will vigorously enforce antitrust laws that protect consumers from higher prices and fewer choices. That is the Justice Department’s legal obligation and what the American people expect and deserve.”

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco added, “No matter how powerful, no matter how prominent, no matter how popular — no company is above the law.”

The DOJ also alleged Apple’s business practices block innovative “super apps,” suppress mobile cloud streaming services, diminish the functionality of non-Apple smartwatches, and limit third party digital wallets.

“When corporations engage in anticompetitive conduct, the American people and our economy suffer,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer. “Today’s action against Apple sends a strong signal to those seeking to box out competitors and stifle innovation — that the Justice Department is committed to using every tool available to advance economic justice and root out anticompetitive practices, wherever they arise.”

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