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Forbes quotes Gareth Mills on the US government’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple

The US is suing Apple for allegedly using its power in the smartphone sector to quash competition from rivals and limit consumer choice.

The complaint accuses the company of abusing its market power in a variety of ways:

  • to 'squash' the growth of innovative apps and messaging services,
  • reduce the appeal of rival smartwatches,
  • keep rival tap-and-pay apps from its devices and
  • block the development of game streaming apps. 

Gareth Mills, Partner, says:

One of the interesting, not to mention incendiary, issues raised by the DOJ’s case is how Apple has allegedly used its encryption and privacy/ security of its messaging services in a disingenuous manner, focusing on its own commercial self interest rather than user safety and privacy. Damningly, the DOJ’s complaint states quite clearly that Apple is happy to use privacy and security of its users as a foundational principle when it suits its economic interests (such as promoting end to end encryption on its iMessage service) but abandons these principles completely when they might benefit a competitor or when not in line with its own commercial interests (i.e. by not making end to end encryption on iMessage compatible with Android technology – something which it could easily do).

"The DOJ argues that in so doing Apple has deliberately stifled innovation and made security and privacy of its users less secure when it contravenes Apple’s own economic interests. As one might expect, Apple has already pushed back against this element of the DOJ’s case, but should that finding be upheld then it could have serious ramifications for encrypted messaging services and their usage worldwide.

Read the full piece in Forbes here.

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