The New York Times - Friday Briefing: The U.S. sues Apple

Also, India’s opposition faces troubles and tips for a healthier relationship with your phone.
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Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

March 22, 2024

Author Headshot

By Amelia Nierenberg

Writer, Briefings

Good morning. We’re covering the U.S.’s antitrust suit against Apple and the arrest of an opposition leader in India.

Plus, tips to unplug from your phone.

A white Apple logo is displayed on a dark building.
Apple’s suite of devices and services have fueled its growth into a nearly $3 trillion public company. Ian C. Bates for The New York Times

The U.S. accused Apple of a monopoly

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against the technology giant Apple. The lawsuit — which includes 16 states and the District of Columbia — is the federal government’s most significant challenge to Apple’s reach and influence.

The government argued that Apple violated antitrust laws with practices that were intended to keep customers reliant on their iPhones and less likely to switch to a competing device. By tightly controlling the user experience on iPhones and other devices, Apple has created what critics call an uneven playing field, where it grants its own products and services access to core features that it denies rivals.

It argued that the tech giant prevented other companies from offering applications that compete with Apple products like its digital wallet — which could diminish the value of the iPhone. It also said that Apple’s policies hurt consumers and smaller companies that compete with its services, and said its practices resulted in “higher prices and less innovation.”

Rebuttal: Apple has said its control over the technology makes iPhones more secure than other smartphones.

What’s next: It’s unclear what implications the suit — which is likely to drag out for years — would have for consumers.

Details: The lawsuit asks the court to stop Apple from engaging in practices like blocking cloud-streaming apps and undermining messaging across smartphone operating systems.

Go deeper: Here is the lawsuit.

Large cutouts of Rahul Gandhi and other opposition figures towering over a dense crowd near high-rise buildings.
Supporters carry a cutout of Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the Indian National Congress. Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

Indian opposition faces troubles

Just weeks before a pivotal election, the head of one of India’s leading opposition parties, the Aam Aadmi Party, was arrested yesterday on what his supporters said were fraudulent charges. The same day, the Indian National Congress — the largest opposition party — said it was blocked from accessing most of its main bank accounts.

Critics said the moves were meant to disadvantage Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rivals. As the vote nears, opposition figures say they are fighting a tide of troubles from the government, including Modi’s unleashing of major investigating agencies against them while shielding those who switch to his side.

Voting: It lasts for six weeks and is set to begin on April 19.

Two men in blue Los Angeles Dodgers shirts standing in a room full of photographers.
Shohei Ohtani, right, with Ippei Mizuhara. Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press

The Dodgers fired Ohtani’s interpreter

The Los Angeles Dodgers fired Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter after the baseball star’s representatives accused the employee, Ippei Mizuhara, of using Ohtani’s money to place bets with a bookmaker who is under federal investigation.

Details are murky. Ohtani’s representatives called him a “victim of a massive theft,” and a Major League Baseball official said that Ohtani, a Japanese slugger, was not currently facing discipline.

Background: Ohtani and Mizuhara were closer than most players and their interpreters. For much of the last seven years, they were rarely seen apart.

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MORE TOP NEWS

Surgeons hunch over a patient during an operation.
Surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston work on the transplant. Michelle Rose/Massachusetts General Hospital, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Economics

  • Britain: The Bank of England held interest rates at the highest level in 16 years, even as inflation has fallen.
  • Japan: Women are participating more in the labor force, partly by design. It’s upending conventional economic wisdom and shows that job market limits are not clear and finite.

Israel-Hamas War

  • Diplomacy: Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, met with Egypt’s president in Cairo to try to push for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza.
  • Al-Shifa: Israel said it had killed over 140 people and detained about 600 people during its raid this week at Gaza’s biggest hospital. The claims could not be independently verified.

MORNING READ

The painting “Barbecue” by Archibald J. Motley. A group of Black men and women celebrate, some sitting at tables with white tablecloths, others standing around. Lights are strung above them. A house is at the right of the frame; two cooks stand behind a counter at the left of the frame.
“Barbecue,” by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1934. Estate of Archibald John Motley Jr

A century ago, two famous Black academics threw a dinner party to introduce the brightest talents in Harlem’s cultural scene to white publishers and professors at powerful institutions. That party set in motion the relationships that would blossom into the Harlem Renaissance.

We reconstructed the pivotal evening using old letters and other archival materials.

Lives lived: Richard C. Higgins, one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, died at 102.

Conversation Starters

We hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, which is made possible through subscriber support. Subscribe to The New York Times.

ARTS AND IDEAS

An illustration of a person reading a book while lying on a hammock fastened between two trees in a grassy park. The hammock looks like a smartphone.
Keith Negley

Have a healthier relationship with your phone

Unplugging can be impossible. Here’s a guide to using your devices in a way that serves you.

Track your urges. Being conscious of the desire to lift your phone or open social media can awaken the part of your brain that governs self-control and help you rein in bad habits.

Stop on-the-go use. Using devices while on the move — heading to a meeting, walking a child to school — can keep us from being engaged in our lives.

Schedule tiny breaks. Put tech breaks in your calendar. It may feel odd to schedule something like “take a phone-free walk,” an expert said, but it shouldn’t if it’s a priority.

Control your environment. Don’t just rely on willpower. Tweak your surroundings to keep your phone away: Get an alarm clock, delete social media apps or ask a family member to remind you to put the phone down.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

A cake made of tea cookies covered in chocolate
Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times

Refrigerate: For a weekend treat, make a French icebox cake.

Play: Dragon’s Dogma 2, the most ambitious game yet from the Japanese designer Hideaki Itsuno, comes out today.

Read: Andrey Kurkov, often called Ukraine’s greatest living writer, has a new crime novel out in English.

Daydream: Nigo, the Japanese streetwear designer, has built a minimalist seaside retreat. Take a look.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend! Justin Porter will be here next week. — Amelia

You can reach us at briefing@nytimes.com.

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