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Justice Department reportedly drafting antitrust suit against Apple

Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley discusses reports that the DOJ is drafting an antitrust suit against Apple and what that means for rival tech companies like Google.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, see Apple shares down 3.5% just a couple of minutes before the trading day closes. Any news with Apple's big news, which makes this huge news. The Justice Department bringing a lawsuit against Apple. We turn now to Yahoo Finance Tech Reporter Dan Howley. Dan, what is the latest on the Justice Department looking into Apple, a $2.5 trillion company?

DAN HOWLEY: That's right. They're potentially drafting or putting together an early draft of a potential suit against Apple. And so what they're doing here is really investigating whether or not they want to actually file an antitrust suit. And so this would have to do with potentially two things, according to "Politico"-- its App Store commission, that's that 30% to 15% cut that they take on the sale of apps or products within apps, as well as, potentially, their ability to lock out competitors when it comes to hardware.

So one thing that "Politico" points to is Tile, the tracking device maker. Apple has its own tracking device, the AirTags. And Tile has said that Apple cut tile out from the ability to use certain capabilities on the iPhone when it comes to their own tracker, making it more difficult for them to, essentially, compete.

So the possibility here is that we could see a suit coming at some point. But again, this is still only a draft. There's nothing certain yet. And they may not even file it at all.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, you think other tech giants are probably pricking up at this prospect. What could this potentially mean if this goes forward?

DAN HOWLEY: Well, look, if this does go against Apple and it has to do with the App Store commissions, you have to immediately look at Alphabet and Google, then. Because they also collect similar commissions for the app store that they run, the Google Play Store. Now, it's worth pointing out that there is one key difference between Apple and Google and that's that with Apple, there's only one place to get apps, and that's the App Store.

With Google and Android, you can download third party app stores, though Google will warn you via some kind of scary pop-up saying that downloading from other sources, third party sources, can be dangerous. And that's kind of nudge to say, don't do that. Just stick with the Google Play Store. So it could have ramifications for Google, but again, they may be a little bit more protected just because they do offer you the opportunity to install things from a third party source.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Certainly still early days in that draft of that suit, but we'll be keeping a close eye. Big thank you there, Dan Howley.