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Michael Tsai – Blog – Antitrust, App Store, and Apple



Amy Howe (via Jason Snell):

The Supreme Court heard this morning in a dispute between technology giant Apple and a group of iPhone users over the sale of apps from Apple's App Store. IPhone users seek massive damage from Apple, complaining that the company violates federal antitrust laws by requiring users to purchase apps solely from the App Store. But when it comes to justices, it's about whether iPhone users can bring their lawsuit at all: Apple claims they can not, because it only sells apps at the prices app developers say.

[…]

Frederick insisted that iPhone users and app developers would have different claims against Apple: iPhone users would be suing to regain the difference between the price they paid and the price they would have paid in a competitive market for apps while developers would be

Ben Thompson (Hacker News):

In this way, Apple argues that developers appreciate their apps, which determine Apple's 30% cut and, to the extent, developers put the prices higher to compensate for that cut The past alleged harm to consumers – it means that consumers are not able to sue.

[…]

I think that Apple has power over developers (offers) just because it has all consumers (demand); It follows that developers are far more likely to price according to what the consumer market will carry and internalize the App Store fee, as opposed to pricing its products artificially high to transfer the cost of the fee to the customers.

[…]

The plaintiff's case only makes sense in a world where there is a lack of price-priced apps, so consumers are forced to carry 100% of Apple's add-ons. The reality is that apps are already as cheap as it can be and there are developers who are directly injured by Apple's guidelines.

[…]

For that purpose, one of the more humorous aspects of yesterday's oral arguments was the way the discussion assumed that Apple was a violent monopoly; This was a matter of convenience when the question was present if Apple was a violent monopoly, which was damaged directly – meaning that it was easier to discuss the latter question while assuming that it was previously true. To be honest, the language felt right: Apple is a violent monopoly for iOS apps.

Daniel Pasco :

First: Drive prices on the ground by encouraging devs to go as low as possible, universal programs and give away your own apps.

So: Claim prices are set by devs

Matt Drance :

I am really in conflict in this case as it is being accused. It seems to fundamentally misunderstand everything you have put out.

The plaintiffs claim that app prices could and should be lower if not for the App Store's fenced garden.

And dev-advocate passage about "lost profit" is about mandatory 70/30 cuts, not race to bottom.

Steve Troughton-Smith :

I very much hope that Apple will lose its App Store antitrust issues. It is unacceptable that Apple may unilaterally block legitimate, valid, desired applications from respected devs, such as Valves Steam Link, from the platforms. They should not make these calls

App Reviews rules require third party monitoring. Most restrictions are absolutely OK. Many points will certainly not hold up to external audits. None of this "you can create encoding apps, but they must be training-focused and do not take more than 80% of the screen" bullshit

Previously: The 30% App Store Tax.

App Store Apple Business iOS iOS 12 Lawsuit Legal

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