US Supreme Court to rule anti-trust dispute over Apple app store.
The legal case accuses the technology company of violating antitrust laws by requiring applications to be sold in the App Store.
Judges of the United States Supreme Court are assuming on Monday (26) the case that decides whether Apple could be sued by the app store’s monopoly.
According to the lawsuit, the company allegedly dominated the iPhone application market and forced consumers to pay more for the products.
The suit accuses the technology company of violating antitrust laws by requiring applications to be sold through its App Store.
Although developers set prices for their apps, Apple collects payments from iPhone users, charging a 30% commission on each sale. One area of contention in the case is whether app developers pass on the cost of that commission to consumers.
The company, backed by President Donald Trump’s Republican government as well as the US Chamber of Commerce, told judges in legal documents that taking the side of iPhone users who opened the process will threaten the flourishing of e-commerce, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars annually in sales in the country.
According to Apple itself, app developers earned more than $ 26 billion in 2017, a 30% increase over 2016.
The case will depend on how judges will apply one of their past decisions to Apple’s claims. A 1977 decision limited the anti-competitive conduct claims to those charged directly in excess rather than include those indirectly affected.
The judges will hear arguments in Apple’s appeal against a lower court ruling that resurrected joint action by a group of iPhone users who filed suit in a California federal court in 2011, arguing that Apple’s monopoly at inflated prices when compared to applications available from other sources.
The plaintiffs, as well as antitrust regulators, have said that closing legal possibilities for buyers of final products will undermine anti-trust practices and allow monopoly behavior to increase without enforcement.
The authors were supported by 30 state prosecutors in states such as Texas, California, and New York.
The plaintiffs say developers will most likely not sue Apple, which controls the service that guarantees their payments, leaving no one more willing to challenge anti-competitive behavior.
The company sought rejection of anti-trust complaints, arguing that the claimants did not have the legal requirement to file suit.
The federal court in Oakland, California, dismissed the suit, saying consumers were not the direct buyers since the high fees were passed on to them by the developers.
But the San Francisco-based Ninth District Court of Appeals in the United States took up the case last year, stating that Apple was the distributor that sold iPhone apps directly to consumers.