Apple Gets Sued… Again!

Apple returns to the Supreme Court in a class action lawsuit

via Pixabay

Apple returns to the Supreme Court in a class action lawsuit

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Tech giant Apple has gone to court several times in the company’s history, whether it be the accusation of stealing tech from Samsung or slowing down older phones to force users to upgrade. Now Apple returns to court again for its high prices in the App Store, and that it is violating the antitrust law, which prevents a company from establishing a digital monopoly. The case has made its way to the Supreme Court, whose opinion is that users have the right to sue Apple if it is demonstrating monopolistic behavior since they purchase apps from Apple directly. This decision could have a major effect on other tech companies who keep massive prices on their virtual stores.

This case comes from another class-action lawsuit against Apple from 2011 when iPhone users claimed that Apple’s 30% tariff on items sold in the App Store forced developers to raise prices accordingly. They also claimed that by not letting users download from any source other than the iTunes App Store, they have a monopoly over their devices. Apple fought back, saying the users cannot sue because Apple is an intermediary, but the Supreme Court held that users purchase directly from Apple, and therefore have the right to sue.

Apple still claims that users do not have the right to sue because developers can still set whatever price they wish, independent of Apple’s influence. However their protests go in vain, and several more cases against their prices have gone to court. Apple’s full statement mentions that many items are free, which Apple gains no profit from, and promises the App Store is not monopolistic in any way. A previous court case about a similar topic also came up in the Supreme Court’s decision. The 1977 Illinois Brick Co. V. Illinois case ruled that app developers could not sue companies for violating the antitrust law, only direct purchasers.

Whether or not the case has any merit has yet to be determined, but this ruling allows it to at least advance to the next stage. The claim was originally filed in 2011, but now with the Supreme Court’s go ahead, it could cause issues for not only Apple but other tech giants as well.

 

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