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Opinion: The Apple App Store antitrust case is quite nuanced, and may not go to trial


Added 05-15-19 11:31:02am EST - “The Supreme Court this week ruled in the Apple App Store antitrust case, and Apple lost. The court ruled that the lawsuit could proceed in a lower court. The decision, however, was just a technical?” - 9to5mac.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From 9to5mac.com: “Opinion: The Apple App Store antitrust case is quite nuanced, and may not go to trial”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The Supreme Court this week ruled in the Apple App Store antitrust case, and Apple lost. The court ruled that the lawsuit could proceed in a lower court.

The decision, however, was just a technical one. It didn’t address the merits of the antitrust lawsuit itself, but merely rejected Apple’s argument that the issue had nothing to do with consumers. The real battle comes when the lawsuit itself goes to court …

The lawsuit dates back to 2011. It was brought by iPhone owners who allege that Apple charges excessive commissions on apps. It says that because iOS apps can only be sold through the App Store, that amounts to a monopoly. Developers have no choice but to pay the 30% commission Apple takes on app sales (or 15%, now, on in-app subscriptions after the first year).

The plaintiffs argued that they are harmed through higher app prices. Developers have to recoup their 30%, and the way they do that is by setting higher prices than they would otherwise need, and it’s therefore consumers who ultimately pay the cost of the commission.

Apple rejected this argument on a technicality, citing a ruling which implied that if the App Store was charging an excessive commission, then the people harmed by that would be developers, not consumers. On that basis, it argued, iPhone owners have no right to sue Apple.

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