Senator Amy Klobuchar, Chair of the Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s new lawsuit against Apple alleging the company has violated antitrust laws by using its monopoly power to harm competition and reduce consumer choice, quality, and innovation in smartphone markets. 

“Tech monopolies impede competition, harming consumers and small businesses. As the gatekeeper controlling the smartphones used by more than half of all Americans, Apple has restricted consumer choice, raised prices, and preferenced its own products and services  — reducing quality and innovation across the digital economy. I strongly support today’s action by the DOJ to put a stop to Apple's anticompetitive conduct.

This case demonstrates why we must reinvigorate competition policy and establish clear rules of the road for Big Tech platforms. I will continue to push for updates to the antitrust laws, including the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act, to promote competition and innovation, strengthen our economy, and make sure consumers and small businesses benefit from free and fair competition.”

In 2021, Senator Klobuchar held a hearing on mobile app store competition and heard evidence that Apple harms consumers and innovation by extracting exorbitant fees from small businesses and distorting and destroying competition in the mobile app market.

In October 2021, Klobuchar and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to set common sense rules of the road for major digital platforms to ensure they cannot abuse their dominance to unfairly preference their own products and services and distort competition. In January 2022, the legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16-6, making it the first major bill on technology competition to advance to the Senate floor since the dawn of the internet. The bill was reintroduced in June 2023.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act has been endorsed by the
National Federation of Independent Business, Small Business Majority, Center for American Progress, Consumer Reports, the Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, Public Citizen, leading national security experts, leading antitrust legal scholars, startup and small business organizations, and over 60 small and medium-sized companies and trade associations, including Spotify, Wyze, FuboTV and Quora.

Signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act updated merger filing fees for the first time since 2001, lowering fees on smaller acquisitions and increasing them for the largest mergers, raising additional revenue that Congress can use to fund antitrust enforcement, including cases like the one filed against Apple today. The legislation also included the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, Klobuchar’s legislation with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to empower state antitrust enforcement by making it easier for state attorneys general litigating antitrust cases to remain in their selected courts.

Introduced in August 2021 by Klobuchar and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the Open App Markets Act will promote increased competition and innovation in the software applications and app store markets. The bill will protect app developers’ rights to tell consumers about lower prices and offer competitive pricing; open up competitive avenues for startup apps, third party app stores, and payment services; make it possible for developers to offer new experiences that take advantage of consumer device features; give consumers more control over their devices; and prevent app stores from disadvantaging developers who compete with them, all while enabling companies to continue to protect privacy, security, and safety of consumers.