Supreme Court Says Consumers Can Sue Apple For Allegedly Monopolizing The App Store

The Supreme Court held in which App Store consumers could sue Apple under antitrust laws, in a 5–4 decision Monday.

The majority opinion in Apple v. Pepper, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, found in which the four plaintiffs, who originally sued Apple in 2011 for unlawfully monopolizing the sale iPhone apps, could move forward with their case. Apple had contested the legal standing of the plaintiffs by claiming in which they were not “direct purchasers” through Apple, yet rather through the app makers themselves. The court forcefully denied This kind of line of argument.

“Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, some other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of This kind of along with similar lawsuits,” Kavanaugh wrote.

“We’re confident we will prevail when the facts are presented along with in which the App Store is usually not a monopoly by any metric,” Apple said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “Developers set the cost they want to charge for their app along with Apple has no role in in which. The vast majority of apps on the App Store are free along with Apple gets nothing through them. The only instance where Apple shares in revenue is usually if the developer chooses to sell digital services through the App Store.”

The court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case against Apple, only in which they could legally proceed with the suit, which argues in which the 30% commission Apple charges on every app sale is usually a consumer-borne cost imposed by a monopolistic company. in which case could potentially open Apple up to a class-action settlement or a loosening on its absolute grip on the sale of apps for its devices.

Apple had argued in which This kind of was protected through such a suit by a 1977 Supreme Court case, Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, which found in which consumers couldn’t sue a party who had overcharged a third party in which passed the cost on. The court Monday found in which because Apple sells apps directly to consumers, the consumers can sue.