Supreme Court says customers can sue Apple over price fixing in the App Store

Bottom line: Apple has been denied its motion to dismiss price-fixing allegations. The US Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that the defense’s citing of a case from the 1970s does not apply in this instance and that customers may proceed with antitrust filings against the tech titan.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled 5-4 against the iPhone maker in a case involving antitrust practices with its App Store. Justices heard arguments last November and arrived at a decision on Monday. The ruling will allow customers to go forward with price-fixing lawsuits against the company.

Plaintiffs in the case claim that Apple has monopolized iPhone app distribution and in doing so has gouged customers indirectly with its 30-percent commissions on app sales.

The tech giant says that it acts as merely the storefront and that since developers name their own prices, it cannot be held responsible for price fixing. It further adds that since developers are the ones who pay the commission and not customers, developers should be the only ones that can have a claim citing a 1977 case between Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois.

However, the SCOTUS disagreed saying that the Illinois Brick ruling found that direct purchasers of products are allowed to file anti-trust lawsuits. Since customers are paying Apple directly rather than the developers, they do have the right to sue.

“Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits.”

Furthermore, justices feel that if customers had other options for purchasing apps, it would create competitive pressure on Apple to lower its commission. As it is now, customers and developers are locked into an ecosystem that is exclusively owned and operated by Apple so it can charge developers whatever it wants, and of course, those costs are passed on to the consumer.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the Court’s opinion, “Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits. In particular, we fail to see why the form of the upstream arrangement between the manufacturer or supplier and the retailer should determine whether a monopolistic retailer can be sued by a downstream consumer who has purchased a good or service directly from the retailer and has paid a higher-than-competitive price because of the retailer’s unlawful monopolistic conduct.”

The SCOTUS ruling does not consider the merit of the plaintiffs’ claims or any other defenses Apple may have. It only ruled that the company’s argument to dismiss under Illinois Brick was invalid.

Supreme Court says customers can sue Apple over price fixing in the App Store 1

Apple’s stock tumbled almost six percent after the ruling, but it is hardly the end of its financial concerns in the matter. The company could be facing hundreds of millions in anti-trust claim settlements. It may also be looking at a forced reduction in the App Store’s 30-percent cut or removing restrictions against downloading from an alternative marketplace.

This case is not the first price-fixing lawsuit Apple has faced. In 2014, the company settled an anti-trust lawsuit involving ebooks for $450 million. More recently in 2017, Russian regulators found Apple guilty of fixing prices for iPhones with several retailers in Russia.

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews

Crypto Scams

How Do Scammers Entice Their Prey?
May 10, 2022
Beanstalk Farms Loses $80M In A Massive DeFi Governance Flash-Loan Hack
Beanstalk Farms Loses $80M In A Massive DeFi Governance Flash-Loan Hack
April 23, 2022
Joon Pak Head of Crypto at Prove talks to Us about Crypto Fraud And More
April 11, 2022
Mintable CEO Zach Burks Talks to Us about the Opensea Stolen NFTs and Their Recovery
March 21, 2022
Crypto Crime
Crypto Crime Surges To Record Highs As Thieves Follow Market Buzz – Chainalysis 2022 Report
February 24, 2022

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

Roundtable Interview-What is the Effect of The Russia-Ukraine War on Cryptocurrency Prices?
March 4, 2022
How Does Bitcoin Casino Work + 2021 Beginner’s Guide
November 8, 2021
How to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
November 8, 2021
What Are Bitcoin Futures And How Will They Work In 2022?
November 4, 2021
The Unconventional Guide to Ethereum
October 28, 2021

CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin30,255 1.57 % 2.18 % 0.05 %
Ethereum2,073.6 2.11 % 3.11 % 7.83 %
Tether1.003 0.10 % 0.19 % 0.31 %
USD Coin0.9989 0.16 % 0.08 % 0.04 %
BNB305.54 1.52 % 3.36 % 1.41 %
XRP0.4292 2.32 % 3.10 % 13.25 %
Cardano0.9566 0.22 % 0.68 % 6.96 %
Solana55.94 3.61 % 5.45 % 12.03 %
Binance USD1.003 0.05 % 0.36 % 0.56 %
Polkadot10.92 3.28 % 2.94 % 1.10 %

Bitcoin (BTC) $ 30,562.00
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,101.25
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
USD Coin (USDC) $ 1.00
BNB (BNB) $ 309.07
XRP (XRP) $ 0.435503
Cardano (ADA) $ 0.591796
Solana (SOL) $ 57.41
Binance USD (BUSD) $ 0.997843
Polkadot (DOT) $ 11.16