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Report: Apple Makes Last-Minute Attempt to Halt Antitrust Suit

Apple logo on building

Apple reportedly made an eleventh-hour attempt last week to stave off a federal antitrust suit.

The company and its attorneys met with the U.S. Justice Department to try to convince the agency not to file that suit, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday (Feb. 27), citing sources familiar with the matter.

The report notes that these so-called “last rights” meetings are typically one of the last suits before the filing of an antitrust suit.

In this case, the suit would follow a years-old investigation of the tech giant, which the Justice Department accuses of placing software and hardware limitations on its devices to hinder competition. Sources told Bloomberg the suit could come by the end of next month.

PYMNTS has contacted Apple for comment but has not yet received a reply.

Word of a possible suit against Apple began circulating last month. The government had been investigating the company since 2019, though its antitrust case against Google has apparently taken priority before now.

The news comes as Apple is facing regulatory pressure in other parts of the world. As noted here last week, competitors like Microsoft and Meta have accused Apple of not going far enough with these proposed changes to its mobile software in Europe.

These changes would allow users to download apps from other sources and access alternative payment systems, though critics contend these changes could hamper the creation of alternative app stores.

Microsoft’s gaming chief, Phil Spencer, has said Apple’s proposals limit the ability to create meaningful alternatives on mobile platforms, while Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called Apple’s plan “onerous” and “at odds” with EU regulations.

Spotify and Epic Gamesboth of which have sued Apple, have also criticized the changes.

In other Apple news, PYMNTS on Tuesday examined the company’s decision to abandon its electric vehicle (EV) plans, a move that seems “prescient” given the market for electric cars.

“Still — given the state of current self-driving technologies in 2024 — Apple aiming for a fully autonomous consumer vehicle was also an ambitious goalpost, particularly given that the company was a last, not first, mover in the EV space,” that report said.

And on the voice-activated front, Apple was “right on the money,” the report added, pointing to PYMNTS Intelligence research showing that consumers are increasingly embracing hands-free in-car voice technologies as they look to “integrate intuitive, simple and connected elements into their everyday routines.”