The U.S. Department of Justice and 15 states on Thursday sued Apple as the government cracks down on Big Tech, alleging the iPhone maker monopolized the smartphone market, hurt smaller rivals and drove up prices.

Apple joins competitors sued by regulators, including Alphabet's Google, Meta Platforms and Amazon across the administrations of both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.

"Consumers should not have to pay higher prices because companies violate the antitrust laws," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. "If left unchallenged, Apple will only continue to strengthen its smartphone monopoly."