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App Store Antitrust case goes before the US Supreme Court



A seven-year antitrust monopoly procedure against Apple's App Store is scheduled to go to the Supreme Court today, reports Reuters, in a case that is expected to answer a bigger question if consumers can suck middle suppliers and distributors in an online economy for damages in antitrust cases. Apple, for its part, quotes a relatively old Supreme Court of 1977 in its defense, which limited harm to competition competition to those who were overcharged directly, instead of just those who paid an overcharge passed by others. On this basis, Apple claims that it only acts as an agent, and developers are setting prices as Apple just passes through the storefront. Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim, however, that Apple's 30 percent cut to sell apps on the App Store forces developers to charge higher prices than they would otherwise, thus transferring Apple's costs directly to consumers. A competitive landscape they propose will allow developers to charge lower prices at other App Stores.

The process was originally filed in 201

1 and appealed to Apple to maintain a monopoly on the sale of iPhone apps to drive up the prices of apps, thus increasing its own 30 percent cut of app revenue. Apple requested that the clothes be dismissed early in 2013, claiming that Apple has no monopoly because the company does not appreciate and that the fee for distribution does not violate the antitrust law. The suit was actually rejected later that year, but for a completely different reason, with a US district court judge claiming that the plaintiffs could not continue the case simply because they had not bought any of the current apps and therefore could not claim that they " Personally had an actual injury because of Apple's alleged behavior. " However, the court ruling did not prevent the case from being refiled and it arose early in 2017 when the 9th US Court of Appeal claimed that the plaintiffs actually had the right to sue Apple directly since that is where the app was purchased.

Apple's lawyers also argue that sidebar with the plaintiffs could "threaten the growing field of e-commerce, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars a year in US retail", which indicates that the decision can have widespread impact on companies such as StubHub , The Amazon Marketplace and eBay. On the other hand, the plaintiffs and antitrust guardians raised the concern that consumers themselves can not claim service providers like Apple and Uber, monopolistic behavior can be expanded uncontrollably. Sandeep Vaheesan, Legal Director of the Open Markets Institute, a Washington-based antitrust advocacy group, notes that "Many technical platforms will begin to argue that consumers are unable to bring antitrust suits against [them]," for example, say a company as Uber could claim merely to provide communication services to individual drivers, preventing passengers from having someone standing to get an antitrust claim against the company.

The far-reaching consequences of a potential Supreme Court judgment have resulted in US federal and state authorities and other major organizations take sides, with Apple backed by President Donald Trump's administration and US Chambe Commerce while the plaintiffs are supported by lawyers generally in 30 states including California , Texas, Florida and New York. Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus card saying that "The increased risk and cost of disputes will chill innovation, counteract trade, and harm developers, retailers and consumers alike." While developers who sell through the App Store will still have the right to sue Apple, the plaintiffs and antimonopoly groups, so it's not comfort, as most people will not "bite the hand that feeds them" and risk being blackballed by Apple, something that means that competitive competitive behavior will go uncontrolled. Mark Rifkin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, added that Apple tries to make it harder for injured people to claim their rights under federal antitrust law.


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