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Apple to Seek Dismissal of Justice Department’s Antitrust Lawsuit

Apple told a judge in a letter Tuesday (May 21) that it plans to ask that an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by the Justice Department and 15 states be dismissed.

In its letter to U.S. District Judge Julien X. Neals, the company said that it faces fierce competition, that customers unhappy with its products can switch to another supplier, and that the complaint fails to show that it can charge supra-competitive prices or restrict output, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Apple’s letter comes in response to the Justice Department’s lawsuit that alleges that the company abuses it market power, holds an illegal monopoly on smartphones, and maintains that monopoly via contractual restrictions on developers, according to the report.

The government is expected to respond to Apple’s letter within seven days, per the report.

When filing its long-expected antitrust case against Apple and its iPhone in March, the Justice Department accused the company of monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the market for smartphones.

“We allege that Apple has maintained monopoly power in the smartphone market, not simply by staying ahead of the competition on the merits, but by violating antitrust law,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news release announcing the suit. “If left unchallenged, Apple will only continue to strengthen its smartphone monopoly.”

In a statement provided to PYMNTS at the time, Apple said that the suit threatens the principles that help its products stand out, that the suit is wrong on the facts and the law, and that the company will vigorously defend against it.

“If successful, it would hinder our ability to create the kind of technology people expect from Apple — where hardware, software and services intersect,” the company said in the statement. “It would also set a dangerous precedent, empowering the government to take a heavy hand in designing people’s technology.”

One of the allegations contained in the government’s antitrust suit is that Apple has “inhibited the creation” of cross-platform, third-party digital wallets.

The suit said the company has done so by preventing third-party apps from offering tap-to-pay functionality.

Apple’s hold on digital wallet creation and deployment comes through its control over API access, the suit said.