The blocking of Beeper Mini’s iMessage feature for Android has caught the attention of two U.S. Senators and two Representatives, who now want a higher authority to look into Apple’s anti-competitive behavior. The four U.S. officials have reportedly written a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether the Cupertino giant has violated any U.S. anti-trust laws.
Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud are still inaccessible for 60 percent of Android users, with Apple trying its best to prevent access to iMessage servers
The U.S. officials have sent a signed letter and sent it to the DOJ, asking the law enforcement body to investigate ‘whether Apple’s potentially anti-competitive conduct against Beeper violates US antitrust laws.’ The letter has been signed by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Utah Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, and Congressman Ken Buck.
“Earlier this month, Beeper introduced Beeper Mini, an interoperable messaging service that allows users of the Android mobile operating system to communicate with users of Apple’s iMessage service. Previously, Android users were unable to securely communicate with iMessage users and were relegated to using decades-old, unencrypted SMS technology.
Within days of its launch, Beeper Mini users began to experience service disruptions. Apple admitted it took action to disable Beeper Mini, citing security and privacy concerns for iMessage users. Apple executives have previously admitted the company leverages iMessage to lock users into Apple’s ecosystem of devices and services. Beeper Mini threatened to reduce this leverage creating more competitive mobile applications market, which in turn a more competitive mobile device market.”
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
The signed letter comes a few days after Senator Elizabeth Warren noticed that Apple had blocked Beeper Mini and criticized the technology giant for putting profits over the privacy and security of users. Apple has previously stated that it pulled down Beeper Mini because it wanted to protect the safety and privacy of iPhone users. Even though Beeper Mini and Beeper Cloud have attempted numerous times to return the service, it appears that Apple continues to disrupt their progress.
Yesterday, Beeper Mini put out a post on Reddit, saying that 60 percent of its users could not send and receive messages. However, the company appears to be determined to get this sorted, as the post stated that Beeper Mini is ‘fighting to get this fixed.’ Given that iMessage servers belong to Apple, it is likely that the DOJ is expected to dismiss this letter, putting the investigation to rest. It is also possible that in the near future, Beeper Mini will get into legal trouble with Apple for its continued efforts, and that may become the final nail in the coffin.