Advertisement

Supreme Court allows consumers antitrust suit against Apple

In this May 31, 2018, file photo customers enter the Apple store in New York. The Supreme Court is allowing consumers to pursue an antitrust lawsuit that claims Apple has unfairly monopolized the market for the sale of iPhone apps. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
In this May 31, 2018, file photo customers enter the Apple store in New York. The Supreme Court is allowing consumers to pursue an antitrust lawsuit that claims Apple has unfairly monopolized the market for the sale of iPhone apps.

May 13, 2019 12:45 PM

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that consumers can pursue an antitrust lawsuit that claims Apple has unfairly monopolized the market for the sale of iPhone apps.

New Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's four liberals in rejecting a plea from Cupertino, California-based Apple to end the lawsuit. Apple charges a 30% commission to software developers whose more than 2 million apps are sold through Apple's App Store, and iPhone users who must purchase software for their smartphones exclusively through the App Store bear that cost in turn.

Advertisement

IPhone users filed the suit. Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion.

"In other words, Apple as retailer pockets a 30% commission on every app sale," said Kavanaugh, one of President Donald Trump's two high court appointees.

That was enough to persuade that at this early stage of the legal fight, the lawsuit can continue, he said.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's other pick, wrote a dissent for four conservative justices. The consumers' complaint against Apple is the kind of case earlier high court rulings said was not allowed under federal laws that prohibit unfair control of a market, Gorsuch wrote.

Apple had argued it's merely a pipeline between app developers and consumers, and that iPhone users have no claims against Apple under antitrust law.

The suit could force Apple to cut the commission it charges software developers. A judge could triple the compensation to consumers under antitrust law if Apple ultimately loses the suit.

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


More from KSTP:

Apple belatedly jumps into the streaming TV business

Apple busts Facebook for distributing data-sucking app


"'There's an app for that' has become part of the 21st-century American lexicon," Kavanaugh said.

The case is Apple Inc. v Pepper, 17-204.

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Advertisement

No gas tax increase slated for Minnesota after lawmakers reach budget deal

Volunteers help raise over $100,000 for brain cancer research at St. Paul 5K

Budget negotiations resume as adjournment deadline looms

Late May snow in store for parts of the state in Sunday's weather forecast

Trump's 'great patriot' farmers follow him into a trade war

Billion dollar threat: Foreign pig disease could paralyze Minnesota economy

Advertisement