The Supreme Court has ruled against Apple, which is accused of monopolization of the market of applications for the iPhone.
The US Supreme court allowed App Store users to file an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, CNBC reports. A group of plaintiffs accuses the tech giant of abusing its position in the mobile software market, distributing applications exclusively through its own store. Thus, users have to download programs only from the App Store, which leads to an unjustified increase in prices.
According to the case file, users of iOS devices are required to use the App Store, which charges a 30% Commission from the developers of the application. Developers, in turn, put this 30 % in the cost of the application, forcing customers to pay the difference. Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday, supported by four judges-liberals, recommended denial of the application for the Apple on the termination of a claim for a 30% Commission.
After it became known about the decision of the US Supreme court, Apple’s stock quotes on the Nasdaq declined by about 5%. Bloomberg, in turn, links the fall of Apple’s shares not only with the court’s decision to give effect to the claim but also with the fact that China announced an increase in duties on some American goods from June 1.
Apple has tried to ensure that the claim was not accepted. The Corporation insisted that the developers set their own prices in the App Store, and Apple receives only a Commission as an agent. The Corporation also claimed that it could not be the defendant in this case, as the plaintiffs are customers of application developers, not Apple.
“The boundaries that Apple is trying to set do not make sense, except to fraudulently save the company from this and other similar claims,” said Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. “We do not agree with this. The plaintiffs bought the apps directly from Apple, which means they are customers of the company,” the judge added.
It should be noted that while this case is at an early stage, and therefore still not established whether Apple has violated Federal antitrust laws. Nevertheless, this court decision may set a precedent that will mark the beginning of a war between Apple and offended users who have a lever of pressure on the company.
Plaintiffs will be able to claim billions of dollars in damages if they win the lawsuit. According to Apple, a Supreme court ruling allowing the case to continue will pose a threat to e-Commerce, a fast-growing segment of the US economy estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars a year.