Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Apple Loses $113 Billion of Market Value

Fri 22 Mar 2024 | 11:19 AM
Israa Farhan

Regulatory bodies on both sides of the Atlantic are closely monitoring Apple, sparking concerns among investors about potential fines and threatening its market dominance.

In the United States, the Department of Justice and 16 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the iPhone manufacturer for violating antitrust laws.

In Europe, the company is reportedly facing investigations into whether it complies with digital market laws in the region.

On Thursday, its stocks dropped by 4.1%, resulting in a loss of around $113 billion of market value and bringing its annual losses to 11%.

Once the world's most valuable company with a market capitalization of over $3 trillion, Apple's performance has lagged behind the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 indices this year.

This is not the first time it has faced regulatory scrutiny. For years, the company and its counterparts have faced allegations of enriching themselves by stifling competitors.

However, with the increasing popularity of Apple products and their establishment as part of people's daily lives worldwide, authorities have become more aggressive and cautious about its power.

The US lawsuit filed on Thursday in a federal court in New Jersey accuses Apple of preventing competitors from accessing features of its famous devices.

It alleges that the company used its power in distributing apps on iPhones to thwart innovations that would make it easier for consumers to switch phones.

According to the US Department of Justice, the company refused to support messaging apps across third-party operating systems and limited digital wallets and smartwatches not affiliated with it. It also banned cloud gaming services on mobile phones.

The upcoming investigations in Europe, which also target some of Apple's competitors, will focus on the company's new fees, terms, and conditions for app store developers.

The Digital Markets Act, which sets out a series of dos and don'ts for some of the world's largest technology platforms, allows the European Commission to impose costly fines of up to 10% of a company's annual global revenue, and up to 20% for repeated rule violations.

After the official investigations into Apple and Alphabet's subsidiary Google began, regulators aim to reach their final decisions within 12 months.

Apple, having just emerged from a fine of €1.8 billion (about $2 billion) from the European Union for preventing music streaming apps from informing users about cheaper deals, is now under intense scrutiny since the Digital Markets Act came into full effect on March 7th.