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🍎 Taking a bite out of Apple


In today’s email:

  • A green fur ball

  • Paralegal pay is too low

  • Unilever gives away its ice cream

  • Where’s your antipode right now?

  • The MOST unhinged crypto newsletter

  • Reddit still doesn’t make money like Meta

  • You’ve got to pay £500,000 to THEN buy a £10,000 Hermes bag

… and more!

If you take just one thing from this email…

The US competition regulator is accusing Apple of not playing fair to keep its iPhone ecosystem closed off to third parties. Even small things like the annoying green message bubbles are being criticised as practices that might be stifling innovation and keeping prices high.

This lawsuit isn't an isolated incident. It's part of a wider trend in the battle between tech monopolies and competition regulators which is happening across Europe and the US. There’s growing pushback against companies that seem to be getting too big.


Earlier this week, some law firms revealed that they were cancelling training contract offers for people who failed SQE exams (on the first attempt).

A bunch of organisations have called on law firms to be more understanding of applicants who failed.

And I get it — the SQE is a new exam, it’s supposed to be quite technical and there aren’t a lot of past papers to use to practice.

I wanted to see what you all think.

Let me know and I’ll share some of the responses in next week’s newsletter 👇️ 

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- Idin

🍎 Taking a bite out of Apple

apple GIF


What's going on here?

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is suing Apple over its anticompetitive practices which could harm consumers.

Why does competition law matter?

Put simply, competition law encourages more choices for consumers and stops any one company from controlling everything.

More competition between companies → lower prices + innovation.

What does this mean?

Apple is being accused of using its control over the enormous iPhone ecosystem to limit competition and prevent users from accessing non-Apple branded services that could be better for consumers.

In the 88-page lawsuit (which you can read here) they mention the following problematic practices by Apple:

  • Messages to non-iPhones: Android users can’t access iMessage. So their iPhone-user friends have to live with the “green bubble” texts.

  • Limiting digital wallets: Credit cards can only be added to the iPhone by using Apple Pay.

  • Making non-Apple smartwatches worse: Apple has limited the functionality of third-party smartwatches.

  • Apple’s app store: Apple recently got sued by Epic Games for its exorbitant 30% commission on sales through its app store. The DoJ lawsuit also criticises Apple for requiring all iPhone apps to be sold through its own app store.

Generally, Apple has purposefully made it harder for iPhone users to use anything outside the Apple ecosystem.

What was Apple’s response?

Apple has always had the same response to these claims — they create all these obstacles for ‘privacy and security’ reasons.

Hmm… sure.

What’s going to happen next?

It will take years before there’s any outcome on this lawsuit — and even then there will probably be appeals from the losing side.

If the DoJ proves that Apple is in the wrong, the company could be forced to stop doing what it’s doing or break up its business into smaller companies.

Which law firms are involved?

Apple is represented by lawyers from Gibson Dunn and Kirkland & Ellis.

How did markets react?

Well, markets definitely noticed. 📉 

Investors felt the lawsuit had some legitimacy — Apple’s share price fell 4.1% on the announcement.

How could I discuss this in a law firm application?

This story isn’t a one-off — the war against tech monopolies is a trend that you should be aware of.

There’s a crackdown from regulators in both the US and Europe against big tech companies (the DoJ has now brought anti-competition lawsuits against Amazon, Google, Meta, and now Apple).

EU regulators also recently fined Apple €1.8bn (£1.6bn) for its policies that force music streaming companies to take payments through the App Store.

On top of that, next week Apple (along with Alphabet and Meta) is being investigated for breaches of the EU Digital Markets Act. If it get founds falling short of that, it could add up to fines worth 10% of its annual revenue.

Scrutiny of Big Tech is a major consideration for regulators and therefore something that commercial lawyers need to be aware of.


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"Paralegal pay is ridiculous" Thoughts? 👇


  • 🇸🇦 Allen & Overy is expanding its footprint in the Middle East with a new office in Riyadh. This move marks A&O's third location in the region, adding to its Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices, ahead of the impending merger with Shearman & Sterling. While A&O previously partnered with a local firm in Saudi, this partnership was dissolved in 2020. The opening in Riyadh is part of a broader trend — 30 international firms have moved into Saudi Arabia in the last nine months.

  • 👜 Hermès is facing a proposed class action lawsuit by two shoppers accusing the luxury brand of anti-competition violations. The lawsuit alleges Hermès forces customers to buy additional items, such as scarves and belts, as a condition to purchase the very exclusive Birkin bags, which can range from £10,000 to a staggering £500,000. The claimants argue this "tying" practice is illegal.

  • 🍦 Unilever is spinning off its ice-cream business, which includes brands like Ben & Jerry's. This move will lead to 7,500 job cuts but is part of a broader strategy to streamline operations and boost savings, aiming for around £680m in cost reductions. The decision to separate the ice-cream segment is seen as a step to improve the overall performance and market position of the company.

  • 🛍️ Ted Baker is heading towards administration, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Authentic Brands Group, which acquired Ted Baker, is now seeking a new partnership to rejuvenate Ted Baker's presence in the UK and Europe. Slaughter and May is advising the owners of the company while Simmons & Simmons is guiding the brand’s holding company.

  • 🚀 Reddit launched the largest social media IPO in recent memory, soaring from its debut price of $34 to over $50, and hitting a valuation of about $9.5bn. With 73m daily users, Reddit offered its community of Redditors the chance to buy shares at the outset, marking a profitable moment for many. This IPO signals a revival of the US tech market, but it's worth noting Reddit is still not profitable. When it comes to making money from free users, Reddit is lagging behind Facebook’s parent company Meta 👇️ 


  • 🌍️ Cool: Find your antipode, your exact opposite point on the planet.

  • 🥛 Crypto: Milk Road is the most unhinged crypto newsletter on the internet. Sign up now — it’s free.*

  • ⛹️‍♀️ Fun: Throw this (oddly satisfying) green, fur ball around the room.

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  • 📹️ Free application help: If you're applying to commercial law firms, check out my YouTube channel for actionable tips and an insight into the lifestyle of a commercial lawyer in London.

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