United States

Antitrust Cases: A Look At The Outcomes For Google, Amazon, And Meta Amidst Latest Lawsuit Against Apple

In a landmark move, the U.S. Justice Department has filed a significant antitrust lawsuit against Apple, underscoring the Biden administration's efforts to hold major tech players accountable under antitrust laws. This latest action adds to a series of legal challenges shaping the regulatory landscape for industry giants like Google, Amazon, and Meta.


Antitrust Lawsuits Against Big Tech Companies Photo: AP

The Justice Department filed a significant antitrust lawsuit against Apple on Thursday.

This lawsuit, which has been anticipated for some time, follows years of allegations by critics that Apple has hindered competition through its restrictive app store terms, high fees, and its closed ecosystem.

Essentially, this case marks the Biden administration's effort to hold yet another major player in the tech industry accountable under US antitrust law.

In addition to potential fines, the remedies sought in this case could directly challenge Apple's fundamental business strategy of integrating distinct hardware and software products and creating barriers and revenue streams within its product ecosystem.


It's important to note that antitrust laws aim to prevent practices that enable companies to dominate a market, thereby restricting trade. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) website, the Sherman Antitrust Act considers "agreements between competitors to fix prices or wages, rig bids, or allocate customers, workers, or markets" criminal violations.

Apple was the final major tech giant that the federal government had not yet sued since the company was included in a comprehensive House report in 2020, which asserted that the iPhone maker, along with Meta, Google, and Amazon, held "monopoly power."


Here's an overview of how the other cases have unfolded:

Other Antitrust Lawsuits


The lawsuit against Google's ad business marks the first legal action brought by the Biden administration and is scheduled to go to trial in September, as per a federal judge's ruling. This lawsuit targets the core of Google's operations— advertising. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and several states have alleged in the ad-tech case that Google engaged in anticompetitive behavior by acquiring rivals through mergers and coercing publishers and advertisers into using its proprietary ad technology products. Another antitrust trial initiated during the Trump administration challenges Google's dominant position as the default search engine on millions of devices, with closing arguments expected to be heard this spring.


Plaintiffs from 17 states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have contended that Amazon has established an illegal monopoly through a purported "self-reinforcing cycle of dominance and harm." Essentially, the central claim made by plaintiffs is that Amazon has employed various tactics to attract both shoppers and sellers to its platform and then retain them there, thereby impeding other online retailers like Walmart, Target, or eBay from enticing the same consumers and vendors to their own platforms.


The states that filed a lawsuit seeking to break up Facebook-parent company Meta in 2020 did not succeed in their case. In April 2023, a federal appeals court determined that they had filed their challenge too late and failed to present a compelling argument that the company's data policies had harmed competition. This ruling dealt a setback to regulators who have cited Meta as a primary example of alleged abuse of dominance by tech giants.