US Supreme Court rules against Apple in App Store antitrust dispute

US Supreme Court rules against Apple in App Store antitrust dispute

-China tariff dispute, were down more than 5% Monday in morning trading.

iPhone owners say Apple's 30 percent commission on sales made through the App Store results in developers passing that charge to consumers. But if the plaintiffs win at trial, Mark Rifkin, a lawyer representing them, said that "the overcharges paid by consumers since Apple's monopoly began will be measured in the billions of dollars".

The Supreme Court further added that "this is not a case where multiple parties at different levels of a distribution chain are trying to recover the same passed-through overcharge initially levied by the manufacturer at the top of the chain". "Today, he and the four liberal members of the court radically expanded the rights of plaintiffs to bring class actions", Napolitano said.

Explaining the ruling from the bench, Kavanaugh said, 'Leaving consumers at the mercy of monopolistic retailers simply because upstream suppliers could also sue the retailers would directly contradict the longstanding goal of effective private enforcement in antitrust cases'. The iPhone giant said it only acted as the intermediary, providing a storefront where consumers found and purchased the apps they later installed on their phones.

A lawsuit targeting Apple and the App Store will be allowed to proceed, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by President Trump past year, wrote the decision for himself and the court's four liberal justices. The court's four liberal justices joined Kavanaugh in the 5-4 decision. Gorsuch also was appointed by Trump.

There has been exponential growth in the availability of apps since Apple created the App Store in 2008 with 500 choices.

The legal setback for Apple comes as investors are looking to the company's services business, including its App Store, to fuel growth as iPhone sales slow. But it does open the door for both consumers and app developers to sue the company over its alleged monopolistic iOS practices. Given that the App Store is a monopoly - meaning there's really no other way to legally get an app on an iPhone - the plaintiffs argued that the size of the cut necessitated app developers set higher prices to offset it. It has said that if the court allowed the case to proceed, it would disrupt the e-commerce market.

"To evade the court's test, all Apple must do is amend its contracts", Gorsuch wrote.

Apple's pushback brought the matter to the Supreme Court, though only to decide whether the case can continue, not its final outcome.

The suit, which was first filed in 2011, was supported by 30 state attorneys general, including from Texas, California and NY.

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