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CT and NY join lawsuit against Apple

State Attorney General William Tong
Molly Ingram
State Attorney General William Tong

Connecticut and New York have joined the federal government in an antitrust lawsuit against Apple.

The complaint accuses Apple of monopolizing the smartphone industry and keeping its customers on IOS apps, in violation of the Sherman Act. The Sherman Act outlawed monopolies.

The complaint also accuses Apple of blocking innovative super apps, suppressing mobile cloud streaming services, excluding cross-platform messaging apps, diminishing the functionality of non-Apple smart watches and limiting third-party digital wallets, according to a press release from Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong’s Office.

“Apple doesn't want you to have a single super app on your phone,” Tong said. “Because if you have a super app in which you can just stay and message and take photos, and send photos and pay for things and buy things, then the need to use iOS and its ecosystem is diminished.”

Tong said he hopes the lawsuit will result in more choices for users.

“Messaging between iPhones and other smartphones is deliberately degraded and made less secure by Apple. Want to quickly ‘tap-to-pay’ using a digital wallet other than Apple Wallet? No can do. Non-Apple smartwatches won’t fully sync with the iPhone, and the Apple Watch won’t sync with other smartphones. These are unfair and anticompetitive restrictions, among others, imposed by Apple to keep rivals out and prices up.”

The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

Apple has yet to reply to a request for comment.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.