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Consumers pile on Apple with App Store monopoly class action suits

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A day after the US Department of Justice filed its omnibus antitrust lawsuit against Apple, consumers filed a trio of class-action lawsuits for allegedly monopolizing the smartphone market.

On March 20, the U.S. Department of Justice unleashed its lawsuit against Apple, following a five-year antitrust investigation into the iPhone maker's business practices. Mere days later, lawsuits are attempting to jump on the anti-Apple bandwagon.

At least three attempted class-action lawsuits have been filed in California and New Jersey since the DoJ's own lawsuit, reports Reuters. Filed in federal courts, the lawsuits accuse Apple of violating antitrust laws, and fundamentally costing consumers money.

It is alleged in the suits that Apple suppressed technologies for messaging apps, wallets, and similar functions and features. If it had made them more open, Apple could've increased competition in the smartphone market.

As a byproduct of Apple's supposed anti-competitive activity, Apple allegedly allowed the cost of products and services to inflate.

Apple did not respond to the report's request for comment.

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a lawfirm behind one of the new suits, claimed it was "pleased that the DOJ agrees with our approach." The firm previously sued Apple over anti-competitive behavior over its mobile wallet, and previously reached settlements with Apple over App Store policies and eBook pricing.

The three lawsuit, as well as the DoJ's own legal action, follow behind other lawsuits against Apple over anticompetitiveness. In February, one accusing Apple of using its App Store to keep prices high was granted class-action status.