Another lawsuit accused Apple of a monopoly with its App Store

Another day, another lawsuit. As noted by AppleInsider, following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, a new class action lawsuit accuses Apple of artificially inflating App Store prices through a monopoly on iOS app distribution.

The case was launched in the U.S. District Court for the Northern of District of California. Lawyers for the plaintiff, Edward Lawrence, say Apple is violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act, as well as Sections 4 and 24 of the Clayton Act, engaging in "a litany of anticompetitive conduct and practices designed specifically to unlawfully monopolize, fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices.”

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On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to undo a proposed class action dubbed “Apple v. Pepper” accusing Apple of monopolizing the iPhone app market, upholding a Ninth Circuit decision reviving the antitrust suit brought by consumers. The App Association criticized the ruling. 

The lawsuit was originally filed in late 2011 by a group of consumers accusing Apple of monopolizing the market for iOS apps by not allowing any other way of purchasing such apps beyond the company’s own online store.The case could expand the threat of antitrust damages against companies in the rapidly growing field of electronic commerce, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars annually in U.S. retail sales.

The App Association, which represents more than 5,000 app makers and connected device companies in the mobile economy, has issued the following statement:

"We are extremely disappointed in the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to reward trial lawyers rather than developers. Platforms of all kinds have provided three key benefits for developers—trust, reduction of overhead,and global access to consumers. 

"This decision and its categorization of developers as 'suppliers' or 'manufacturers' to platforms sets a troubling precedent. Ten years ago getting software was quite a different and onerous process- our members count on platforms that enable customers to purchase software safely, easily and with confidence. Under this decision, only trial lawyers will benefit from the simplification of platforms as a retailer and vendor model."