That’s according to a Friday (Aug. 26) report from Politico, which cited a “person with direct knowledge of the matter.” Federal prosecutors are putting together the pieces for a potential lawsuit, and the DOJ’s antitrust division hopes to file suit by year’s end.
However, the DOJ has made no decisions on if and when it will sue Apple, per the report. Apple was not immediately available for comment Friday.
The DOJ began investigating Apple three years ago, sparked by claims that the company used its market power to hamper app developers and other tech companies. That investigation is part of a series of attempts by lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and abroad to rein in Big Tech.
The DOJ has also been engaged in a lengthy investigation into Apple rival Google into whether that company has exceeded its authority in its role as a broker and auctioneer of digital ads, taking business away from its competitors.
The DOJ is reportedly readying a lawsuit that claims Google’s ad-tech practices are anti-competitive. Last month, Google proposed splitting up parts of its ad business to stave off a possible federal lawsuit.
The proposal would divide portions of the business that auctions and puts ads on apps and websites into a new company under the Alphabet umbrella.
“We have been engaging constructively with regulators to address their concerns,” a Google spokesperson said in July. “As we’ve said before, we have no plans to sell or exit this business. Rigorous competition in ad technology has made online ads more relevant, reduced fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”