iPhone App Lawsuit Can Proceed, Says High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that consumers can proceed with an antitrust lawsuit challenging Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) exclusive control over the marketplace for iPhone apps, threatening the tech giant’s slice of billions of dollars in software sales.

Plaintiffs, who are suing on behalf of a class of app purchasers, allege consumers pay inflated prices because Apple requires that all phone software be sold and purchased through the company’s App Store. The apps would be cheaper if developers could sell them directly, the lawsuit alleges.

Apple typically takes a 30% cut of every app it sells, and a 15% cut of subscriptions sold through the app store after subscribers’ first year. The consumer lawsuit also complains about other App Store rules that affect pricing, such as Apple’s requirement that every app price point end in “99 cents.”

The Supreme Court’s decision focused on a preliminary issue in the case: whether consumers had a right to sue Apple over these practices. The court, in a 5-4 opinion by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said they did.

Source: Washington Post