Supreme Court to Hear Apple Antitrust Case

Apple shares rise on pricey iPhones; no tariff impact yet

The Supreme Court will hear an antitrust case on Monday that focuses on Apple’s alleged antitrust violations with regards to its App Store practices.

The lawsuit against Apple alleges that the company violated federal antitrust laws by forcing iOS developers to sell apps to users through its App Store, which takes a 30 percent commission on each purchase. iPhone users are only able to download applications that have been approved for and published in the Apple App Store. Users who want to get around this restriction can “jailbreak” their device, but doing so voids their device’s warranty with Apple.

The plaintiffs, a group of iPhone users, complain that this restriction greatly limits the freedom they have on their device. Additionally, the 30 percent commision that Apple takes means higher app prices for consumers.

Professor Herbert Hovenkamp of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law is one of America’s foremost experts on antitrust law. Hovenkamp says that this case is different than typical antitrust cases.

“Illinois Brick assumes that you’ve got an antitrust violator, and that violator sells to some innocent retailer or distributor, or someone in the middle, and then that innocent retailer sells to someone who then sues,” Hovenkamp said. But, in this case, it’s different: Apple, the alleged violator, is the one in the middle, Hovenkamp said.

Apple intends to argue that they are legally permitted to take the commission because they provide developers with access to users. “We are hopeful the Supreme Court will recognize Apple’s critical role as a marketplace for apps, and uphold existing legal precedent by finding in favor of Apple and the millions of developers who sell their apps on our platform,” Apple said in a statement on the trial.

Apple has the support of the Justice Department, which argues that Apple is simply providing a marketplace for app consumers.

A ruling from the Supreme Court is expected to come in June 2019. Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this trial.


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