Apple may face a DOJ antitrust complaint over AirTags
The DOJ seems to be interested in more than just the App Store.
Apple may be facing a US Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit – but this time the focus is on the AirTag and its other hardware. Sources told Politico that DOJ lawyers are in the early stages of drafting an antitrust complaint against the tech giant. These sources indicated that the DOJ has taken an interest in Apple’s hardware, though there is no guarantee that the agency will prosecute this time.
The DOJ opened an investigation into the iPhone maker in 2019, as part of a larger government antitrust probe into Big Tech. So far, the agency has focused primarily on Apple’s App Store and payment systems for developers. A new potential suit could go even further by tracking device-maker tiles on Apple’s AirTags and affect years of public complaints.
AirTags use ultra-wideband technology and Apple’s Find My network to locate devices, often more accurately than Tile’s early-model Bluetooth-enabled trackers. In testimony before Congress, Tile alleged that Apple intentionally disabled Tile on iOS devices by shutting down its Find My network. The tech giant eventually opened up its Find My network to third-party devices for location tracking, albeit with severe terms and restrictions that would force companies like Tile to abandon their software ecosystem in favor of Apple. Incidentally, this was a deal Tile chose not to take. Engadget has reached out to Apple and the DOJ for comment and will update if we hear back.