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Beeper vs Apple battle intensifies: Lawmakers demand DOJ investigation
- A bipartisan group of senators have urged the US Department of Justice to investigate Apple’s anti-competitive behavior against Beeper.
- Apple has been blocking Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud for several days.
- 60% of Beeper users are presently unable to access both iMessage for Android services.
Two US senators and two Representatives have written to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Apple’s anti-competitive conduct towards iMessage for Android maker, Beeper.
The letter to the DOJ is signed by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Utah Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, and Congressman Ken Buck. They have urged the law enforcement body to investigate “whether Apple’s potentially anti-competitive conduct against Beeper violates US antitrust laws.”
Apple has been constantly trying to block Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud from accessing iMessage. The two Beeper messaging apps allow Android users to interact with iPhone users through iMessage — an interoperability Apple has been opposed to for a long time now.
Both Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud have been experiencing service disruptions for the past few days due to Apple’s blocking attempts. The services are down even right now, with more than 60% of users unable to send or receive iMessage messages since yesterday.
Senator @amyklobuchar + @SenMikeLee + @RepJerryNadler @RepKenBuck sent this to DOJ regarding ongoing fight betwn Beeper Mini vs Apple “to investigate whether this potentially anticompetitive conduct by Apple violated antitrust laws.” I’ll have the full story on @CBSMornings tmrw pic.twitter.com/pj6ef432TK— Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) December 18, 2023
“In December 2015, Beeper’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Migicovsky, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights. He expressed concern that dominant messaging services would use their position to impose barriers to interoperability and prevent Beeper entering and delivering services that consumers want. Given Apple’s recent actions, that concern appears prescient,” the lawmakers state in their letter to the DOJ.
“We are therefore concerned that Apple’s recent actions to disable Beeper Mini harm competition, eliminate choices for consumers, and will discourage future innovation and investment in interoperable messaging services,” they added.
Apple is yet to respond to the letter.