US Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, Allows Antitrust Suits

US Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, Allows Antitrust Suits

In a statement, Apple said, "We're confident we will prevail when the facts are presented and that the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric".

Indeed, another Trump appointee - Justice Neil Gorsuch - wrote in the dissenting opinion about this ruling that app developers have more legitimate standing to contend with Apple, not consumers. It simply allowed for the lawsuit to go forward before a lower court. However, the bricks had passed through various contractors during the construction process.

Thirty-one states supported the consumers, urging the Supreme Court to allow the lawsuit and also to eliminate the direct-purchaser requirement altogether by overturning the Illinois Brick decision. Apple told the Supreme Court that the App Store has been very successful and offers over two million apps. But thanks to Apple's complete control of its mobile operating platform, Epic did launch Fortnite through Apple's App Store.

"At this early pleadings stage of the litigation, we do not assess the merits of the plaintiffs' antitrust claims against Apple, nor do we consider any other defenses Apple might have", he added.

The dispute hinged in part on how the justices would apply a decision the court made in 1977 to the claims against Apple. "It's the customer who pays the 30 percent".

As of this writing, Apple's stock is down 4.9% percent on the news. The court's four liberals seemed to agree during the November deliberations, and all four liberals wound up voting against Apple in Monday's ruling.

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"We decline to green-light monopolistic retailers to exploit their market position in that way", wrote Kavanaugh, who was joined by the more liberal justices on the court. The iPhone owners pay the alleged overcharge directly to Apple. If Apple is found to be a monopolist they may have to refund billions to consumers or may even be forced to open up the iPhone to alternate app stores.

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It isn't just paid apps or in-app purchases that make pricing decisions to account for Apple's decision.

The theory of the lawsuit is that Apple's 30% commission charge to app developers is often passed on to consumers - creating a higher-than-competitive price - and that competitors are shut out because Apple prevents iPhone owners from buying apps anywhere other than its App Store. Hence, if Apple was abusing its market power, only developers could sue.

Consumers can press ahead with a lawsuit that accuses Apple Inc.

But Kavanaugh wrote that the previous decision wasn't meant "to bar direct-purchaser suits against monopolistic retailers who employ commissions rather than markups".

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