(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. plans to ask a court to throw out the Justice Department’s antitrust case against the iPhone maker, making a long-shot bid to ward off what promises to be a lengthly legal battle.

Lawyers representing the company sent a letter to the judge overseeing the case in New Jersey outlining the arguments it will include when it files a formal motion to dismiss the lawsuit next month. The company said in the letter that the government’s complaint doesn’t allege anticompetitive conduct, substantial anticompetitive effects or monopoly power in a relevant market. 

“This court should reject the invitation to forge a new theory of antitrust liability that no court has recognized, that would harm innovation, and that would only deprive consumers of the key competitive features that make iPhone distinctive,” Apple wrote in its filing. 

The US government is due to respond to Apple’s letter by May 30, while the court’s ruling on the formal motion to dismiss is due either later in 2024 or early next year. If the case ultimately goes to trial, proceedings likely wouldn’t occur for at least a few years. 

Read More: Justice Department Risks Picking the Wrong Fight With Apple

Motions to dismiss are commonly filed in antitrust cases, though rarely granted in government lawsuits. Alphabet Inc.’s Google filed one in the Justice Department case concerning its advertising technology business, but failed to get the case tossed out.

By contrast, Meta Platforms Inc. successfully persuaded a federal judge to dismiss a Federal Trade Commission complaint by arguing that the agency didn’t provide enough evidence that the company had a monopoly in social networking. The FTC subsequently filed an amended complaint that the judge allowed to move forward. 

The Justice Department sued Apple in March, accusing the company of violating antitrust laws by blocking rivals and app developers from accessing key hardware and software features. The complaint marked the conclusion of a half-decade probe into Apple and followed moves by other regions, including the European Union, to rein in Apple’s power. 

The lawsuit alleges that Apple has used its control over app distribution to thwart innovation and make it harder for consumers to switch phones. The company has refused to support cross-platform messaging apps, limited third-party digital wallets and non-Apple smartwatches, and blocked mobile cloud streaming services.

“This case is about freeing smartphone markets from Apple’s anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct and restoring competition to lower smartphone prices for consumers, reducing fees for developers, and preserving innovation for the future,” according to the suit, which seeks changes to Apple’s practices.

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