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Supreme Court Says iPhone Users Could Sue Apple Over App Store: What To Know

Supreme Court Says iPhone Users Could Sue Apple Over App Store: What To Know

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Monday that a group of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) users can sue the iPhone maker for monopolistic behavior.

What Happened

As part of the ruling, consumers should have the ability to sue Apple because they're the end users of apps on Apple's App Store, CNN reported. The ruling dates back to a 2011 class action suit in which Apple encouraged app makers to increase their prices in response to Apple's 30 percent commission fee. The Supreme Court's opinion does not accuse Apple of violating any antitrust law.

The suit argues Apple doesn't allow its users to download apps outside of its App Store. By comparison, Android users can download an app from an official source, like a company's page.

Apple argued it acts as an intermediary and said in a statement obtained by CNN that developers are the ones who "set the price they want to charge for their app and Apple has no role in that."

Why It's Important

Consumers are only allowed to enter an antitrust case against a corporation that they interact with directly, Loup Ventures' Gene Munster and Will Thompson wrote in a blog post. In "plain English, "the ruling " opens the door for Apple device owners to sue Apple for anticompetitive behavior.

What's Next

Apple is likely to see a "favorable outcome" as the company is not believed to be engaged in any anticompetitive behavior, according to Munster and Thompson. Apple needs to charge app developers a fee to maintain its platform and ecosystem and there are multiple benefits of the current structure, including trust, safety, security, curation and access to customers.

It could take years before the case is actually resolved.

Apple's stock closed Monday's session at $185.72 per share.

Related Links:

Morgan Stanley Talks Apple App Store Trends

Apple Hits Back At Spotify's Antitrust Complaint, Says Music Streamer Wants Free App Benefits While Charging Fee


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