Apple’s Tight Grip on iMessage Spurs Fresh Calls for an Antitrust Probe | EUROtoday

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The US Department of Justice has acquired mail: A coalition of greater than a dozen tech advocacy teams wrote to the company right now calling on it to launch an investigation into allegedly anticompetitive habits by Apple.

The letter says that Apple’s current blocking of Beeper, which reverse engineered iMessage to permit compatibility with Android telephones, is one other instance of Apple “abusing its power to stifle competition and protect its famed ‘walled garden.’” It was despatched by the Tech Oversight Project, which campaigns for harder tech regulation.

A second letter was despatched to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday by Demand Progress, which works on internet-related civil liberties, asking it to launch its personal Apple probe. More than a dozen different progressive advocacy teams cosigned the 2 letters, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Economic Liberties Project, and Fight for the Future.

The Department of Justice has been reported to be investigating Apple over antitrust considerations since not less than 2020. Tech Oversight Project’s letter to the DOJ urged it to speed up that work and file an antitrust swimsuit towards Apple, pointing to what it known as a “long, ongoing history of anticompetitive behavior, including favoring its own products on its devices, unfair policies for third-party apps and control of the App Store marketplace, and using its dominance to crush smaller competitors.” Bloomberg reported earlier in December that an EU antitrust investigation might make an enforcement determination towards Apple over its management of the app retailer in early 2024.

The letter to the DOJ additionally cited the current shutdown of Beeper Mini and prior complaints by Tile, maker of a monitoring system, that its product’s performance was affected by Apple when the iPhone maker launched its personal AirTag trackers.

In its personal letter, Demand Progress, which claims greater than one million members, appealed to Dick Durbin, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Amy Klobuchar, chair of that group’s subcommittee on antitrust, to name for a public listening to and investigation into Apple’s practices, together with its technique of protecting iMessage unique to its personal units.

“Apple is attempting to squash efforts to streamline messaging between Apple and Android devices,” the letter reads. It cites accusations that by making messages from individuals with out iPhones seem in inexperienced bubbles, Apple exploits peer stress, particularly on youngsters, to advance its personal pursuits. The firm didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Pile On

The Apple-Beeper episode has triggered new stress on Apple to loosen its tight management of its companies. On December 17, 4 US senators wrote to the assistant legal professional common of the DOJ’s antitrust division, Jonathan Kanter, calling for the division to analyze whether or not Apple doubtlessly violated antitrust legal guidelines when it reduce off a few of Beeper’s performance between Android messages and iMessage.

Beeper, a three-year-old Silicon Valley startup, launched its Beeper Mini app on December 5 to bridge the hole between SMS messaging on Android telephones and Apple’s iMessage protocol on iPhones. The app runs on Android telephones and prices $2 per 30 days.