Apple Faces Supreme Court Over App Monopoly
Recent reports claim the US Supreme Court is considering progressing a lawsuit against Apple, asserting it breached anti-trust laws by monopolising the iPhone software market.
The news comes after a group of iPhone owners commenced legal action against Apple in 2011, seeking monetary damages.
Earlier this week, Apple presented its appeal over the lower court’s decision, defending allegations it violated antitrust laws.
Allegations contest Apple’s requirement that iPhone apps be sold on the App Store – a marketplace where Apple snares 30% commission.
Consensus opinion remains mixed, with the case hinging on an interpretation of how anti-competitive damages are limited.
One view considers the effect on those directly overcharged, with another concerning indirect victims who pay overcharges passed by others.
Plaintiffs assert Apple’s monopoly in the iPhone app marketplace has caused inflated prices, versus if apps were openly sold elsewhere.
The plaintiffs are reportedly backed by several US state attorney generals, and affirm developers are unlikely to sue Apple, perpetuating anti-competitive behaviour.
According to Apple’s latest numbers, app developers collected over US$26 billion in 2017 – a 30% YoY jump.
An Apple spokesperson has defended monopoly claims, asserting it has fuelled competition, innovation and created new jobs.