Supreme Court Rules Against Apple in App Store Price Fixing Case

The decision paves the way for iPhone owners to sue the company.


3 min read


This story originally appeared on Engadget

The Supreme Court has ruled against Apple in a long-standing case over price fixing in the App Store, in a decision that allows iPhone owners to proceed with a lawsuit against the company. The court heard arguments in the case in November, and the decision was expected sometime this spring.

The plaintiffs claim Apple has a monopoly over iOS app distribution, which it uses unfairly to pass along its 30 percent cut of app sales to consumers. Apple claimed it was a middleman for app distribution, and that developers set the price. Since developers are the ones who pay Apple’s commission, and not consumers, only they should be able to file a lawsuit on the issue, the company said.

The case hinged on the question of whether people who buy iOS apps do so directly from Apple. Following a 1977 decision on the case of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, only direct purchasers of products can file federal antitrust lawsuits.

Those behind the suit say that because payments go to Apple directly, and not the developers, consumers have a direct relationship with the company, and as such that makes this an antitrust case. They also claim that if consumers had other options for apps beyond the App Store, they’d pay less for them, while Apple would be under “considerable pressure” to lower its “pure profit” commission rate.

The court ruled 5-4 against Apple, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh authoring the opinion. “Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits,” he wrote.

The court agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that people who buy apps from the App Store are doing so directly from Apple, and as such they aren’t prohibited “from suing Apple under the antitrust laws.” However, at this stage, the court doesn’t “assess the merits of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against Apple, nor [does it] consider any other defenses Apple might have.”

It’s unclear when the lawsuit will go to trial (if Apple doesn’t settle first), as it’s in its early stages. However, Apple could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. It may also be forced to reduce its 30 percent commission on app sales or allow consumers to access rival app marketplaces. Engadget has reached out to Apple for comment.

Source

more recommended stories

  • How Entrepreneurs Can Manage Their Health Like They’re Managing a Fortune 500 Company

    The principles of building a billion.

  • The Most Important Trait Shared by Successful Athletes and Entrepreneurs

    Trying to becoming a professional baseball.

  • How the ‘Change Generation’ Is Motivating Businesses to Commit to Sustainability

    People under age 30 identify “climate.

  • Landmark Study Shows CBD Could Treat Heroin Addiction

    Addicts given CBD were much more.

  • Can Social Media Have Negative Effects on the Brain?

    May 24, 2019 2 min read.

  • Elon Musk Received the Highest CEO Compensation Package Ever, and 27 Other Crazy Things We’ve Learned About the SpaceX and Tesla CEO

    The founder of Tesla, SpaceX and.

  • Cannabis Investing Tips for Non-Millionaires

    Want to invest in the cannabis.

  • Stock Market Falls as Trade War Between the U.S. and China Gets Nastier by the Day

    A deal between the world’s two.

  • How Philanthropy Helped Build This Billion-Dollar Liquor Brand

    Taylor Berry, Chief Marketing Officer of.

  • Wall Street Analysts Are Extremely Bearish on Tesla. Here’s Why.

    Tesla falls while the Entrepreneur Index™.

  • The 7-Step Guide To Finding the Right Clients and Avoiding the Ones Who Waste Your Time

    The right client base is the.

  • Now Is the Time to Press Even Harder for Immigration Reform

    The case for incentivizing U.S.-educated, foreign-born.

  • Chip Makers Bounce Back After U.S. Eases Restrictions on Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Technologies

    Plus, investors had no appetite for.

  • Will Your Product Launch Be a Success? 4 Signs It Won’t Be.

    The truth is, most product launches.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Marketing an App

    First-timers in app development tend to.

  • 12 Passive-Aggressive Phrases That Can Destroy Your Business

    Maybe you think you’re being polite,.

  • Cannabis Shops Linked to Lower Crime, Increased Property Values

    A store selling legal marijuana is.

  • What Exactly Is the Biohacking Movement?

    These shifts in mindset, diet and.

  • Snag These Premium Bang & Olufsen Headphones for Nearly Half Off

    Bang & Olufsen’s H4 Bluetooth Over-Ear.

  • These Presentation Templates Can Help You Make a Better Impression

    ShapeSlide’s 40-in-1 Presentation Bundle makes every.

  • Why Entrepreneurs Should Believe They Are Unstoppable

    Josh York, CEO of Gymguyz, talks.

  • 4 Instagram Best Practices for Increasing Sales

    Users are shifting from editorial to.

  • How to Calculate Gross Profit

    Know whether your business is making.

  • Tesla Stock Falls Hard Despite Elon Musk’s Claim That It Will Eventually Have $500 Billion Market Cap

    Plus, Under Armour stock jumps based.

  • Buying Into These Myths Can Make for Bad Hiring Decisions

    Every company can point to a.

  • Technology Stocks Lead Market Higher Despite Another Tesla Crash

    Tesla shares were down after a.

  • 7 Tips for Network Marketing Success

    There are six key elements you.

  • 10 Things You Didn't Realize Were Invented in the 1970s

    From the first mobile phone to.

  • 18 Ways for Digital Nomads to Make Money

    All you need is a laptop,.

  • SpaceX Is Building Another Starship in Florida

    The competition is on. May 15,.

  • Entrepreneur Index™ Rises as Fears of Trade War Dissipate

    The technology sector leads the rebound,.

  • 25 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Chick-fil-A

    One interesting fact about Chick-fil-A? By.