Apple Inc. Case Revived by Federal Appeals Court - iPhone Apps Monopoly Issue

Apple Inc. Case Revived by Federal Appeals Court - iPhone Apps Monopoly Issue

Apple Inc. Case Revived by Federal Appeals Court - iPhone Apps Monopoly Issue

A United States appeals court has ruled that buyers of iPhone apps may sue Apple over allegations of monopolising the market by not allowing them to buy apps outside its App Store. The class covers “[a] ll persons in the United States, exclusive of Apple and its employees, agents and affiliates, and the Court and its employees, who purchased an iPhone application or application license from Apple for use on an iPhone at any time from December 29, 2007 through the present.”.

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However, the case filed just recently isn't exactly about Apple doing the monopolizing, but rather just a ruling about people gaining the rights to sue Apple and this happens to be already reached, letting the previous case resume. Both the opinion in the District Court and the Ninth Circuit hinged on Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois (1977) 431 US 720 in which it was held that indirect purchasers of goods or services can not maintain antitrust actions. The Cupertino-based company's reason is that people are transacting directly with the developers and not with the company. The plaintiffs are looking to dismiss the commissions or allows developers to sell their products outside the App Store. But if Apple is a distributor from whom Plaintiffs purchased directly, Plaintiffs do have standing.”.

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For its part, Apple has long argued that the policy isn't anticompetitive because it's doesn't make or own the apps found within its App Store. "Apple's analogy is unconvincing", the ruling says. Developers pay a cut of their revenues to Apple in exchange for the right to sell in the App Store.

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In Apple's view, because it sells distribution services to app developers, it can not simultaneously be a distributor of apps to app purchasers. The issue brought forth in the original case, titled Pepper et al v. Apple Inc, alleged that Apple's practice of restricting the iOS App Store leads to a lack of competition and higher app prices.

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