Judge overseeing US DOJ lawsuit recuses himself, new judge takes over

By Wesley Hilliard

US District Judge Michael Farbiarz claims a conflict of interest won't let him oversee the DOJ lawsuit against Apple, so US District Judge Julien Neals is taking over the case.

US District Court in New Jersey

The U.S. Department Of Justice sued Apple along with 15 states claiming the company monopolizes portions of the smartphone market. The years-long battle has barely begun, yet changes are already happening.

According to a report from Reuters, District Judge Michael Farbiarz had to recuse himself from the case based on mandatory requirements by law. He didn't define exactly what the conflict of interest was, but it usually deals with close association with members of the case via family or personal ties.

There's not much of note regarding this change. A new judge has taken over, District Judge Julien Neals.

Both judges likely hold similar viewpoints since both were appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden. The case is being held in New Jersey due to previous monopoly cases citing a much smaller market share for defining a monopoly, which will help the DOJ's case.

Much of the lawsuit appears to be frivolous, based on a limited understanding of technological implementation or on outdated rules Apple has already relented on. It isn't clear what the result of the lawsuit could be at this early stage, but one thing is certain, it will be years before an actionable verdict is reached.