Friday Briefing

Apple is worth nearly $2.75 trillion.Credit…Ian C. Bates for The New York Times

The U.S. accused Apple of having a monopoly

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Apple, arguing that the company had violated antitrust laws by using practices that were intended to keep customers tethered to iPhones.

The lawsuit accused Apple of preventing other companies from offering applications that compete with products like its digital wallet; making it easier for iPhones to connect with other Apple products than with those of competitors; and undermining messaging across smartphone operating systems. (Read the filing here.)

Apple, which is worth nearly $2.75 trillion, said these practices had made its iPhones more secure than other smartphones. But app developers and rival device makers said Apple had used its power to crush competition.

The Justice Department has the right to ask for structural changes to Apple’s business, including a breakup, an agency official said, should the ruling be in the department’s favor.

It was unclear what implications the suit — which is likely to drag on for years — would have for consumers.

Context: Every modern tech giant has faced a major federal antitrust challenge, and Apple has effectively fought off similar accusations in the past. Here are some of the other regulatory actions facing the company.

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