Why the shine was off Apple stock on Monday

A potentially large legal headache for the company had some investors reaching for the aspirin.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What happened

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) stock and product aficionados might be getting excited about the company's upcoming "event" next week, but the shares nevertheless stumbled on Monday. A media report is giving some investors pause to think, with the result that Apple shares lost 1.4% of their value across the day.

So what

An article published in Politico on Friday afternoon stated that the Justice Department is currently in an early stage of preparing a potential antitrust complaint against Apple. Citing "a person with direct knowledge of the matter," the story said that several groups of Justice prosecutors are involved in the effort, suggesting a renewed push by the government to curb what it considers to be the unfair trade practices of big tech companies.

According to the article's source, if the Department decides to go through with filing its complaint, it will do so by the end of this year. Yet that person, plus what Politico described as "one other familiar with the probe," have both said that Justice hasn't yet made a final decision on the matter.

Apple has not yet officially responded to the article.

Now what

If the article is accurate, this would hardly be the first time the government has gone after the country's top-tech companies over what it believes is anti-competitive behavior. Apple has been in its sights for some time and the focus of a formal investigation since 2019. We need to bear in mind, though, that at this point the filing of an antitrust complaint is only speculation at best, and investors shouldn't trade the company's stock purely on that basis.

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Eric Volkman has positions in Apple. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Apple and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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