U.S. Supreme Court asks Trump administration for advice on a consumer lawsuit accusing Apple of monopolizing iPhone apps market

“The Supreme Court asked the Trump administration for advice on a consumer lawsuit that accuses Apple Inc. of trying to monopolize the market for iPhone apps so it can charge excessive commissions,” Greg Stohr reports for Bloomberg.

“The request to U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco suggests the justices are interested in hearing Apple’s appeal. The company contends consumers can’t press the antitrust lawsuit because the 30 percent commission is levied on the app developers, not the purchasers,” Stohr reports. “A lawyer pressing the case previously said Apple could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars if the suit succeeds.”

“A federal appeals court allowed the suit, which seeks class-action status,” Stohr reports. “The panel said Apple can be sued because it is serving as a distributor, selling directly to consumers through its App Store and pocketing a portion of the price of each app.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple created the entire market. It did not exist before Apple invented the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Apple built and maintains the App Store. They can charge whatever commission they want.

If you don’t like it, choose another phone or tablet. Apple has no monopoly in smartphones or tablets (they only have a monopoly on excellent smartphones and tablets.)

Also how cheap and/or petty do you have to be to sue over apps that average 89-cents each?

53 Comments

  1. They should charge Microsoft for the billions waisted patching their POS operating system. Fscking spent all last week patching our systems due to this hijack worm crap. After reading through all the current security bulletins..realized not much has changed since the late 90’s.

    1. Since this is at least the fifth time I’ve seen this from you:

      It’s “wasted,” not “waisted,” unless you’re talking fashion design, you fscking ignoramus.

        1. It doesn’t bother you to be called a fscking ignoramus for making a recurring spelling error? Truly you are a model of restraint and forgiveness, an exemplar of the gentler emotions in a nest of shrikes.

  2. This is like suing Costco for adding margins to the Kirkland goods they sell to cover the cost of electricity in the store, their trucks to move the product from place to place, and turn a profit on their business. Costco is the only place you can get Kirkland, so they must be abusing their monopoly, right?

    Dumbest. Lawsuit. Ever.

  3. “Apple created the entire market. It did not exist before Apple invented the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. ”

    Apple did not invent the app store (software store, software repository), but I digress…

    You acknowledge that the iOS market is a market in and of itself, distinct from the Android market. Right? If so, then there is no elsewhere to buy apps for your iOS device. If one wants to enter the market Apple is the sole arbiter of whether you exist and for how long.

    This is worse than anything MS has ever done from an anti-competitive point. To use your logic, should MS had the same power over who gets to write Windows software? The answer of course is no.

        1. Developing in iOS forces you to deal with Apple whether you want to or not. If you don’t like that their are plenty of non apple platforms to make your money on.

            1. Can you program for the PS4 apart from Sony? Can you program for Nintendo devices independent of the company? Your logic is flawed because your interpretation of “monopoly” is flawed.

              Apple does not have a monopoly in the legal sense. If I am wrong, then a number of companies have “monopolies.”

    1. “Apple did not invent the app store (software store, software repository)”

      No one said Apple invented the concept of an app store mate. Apple created their own App Store for iOS devices. Anyone can make an iOS app, but just like Windows or any other platform you have to follow their rules. Windows had less rules but it wasn’t a free-for-all chum. There are pros and cons to both approaches. Stop your whinging.

      1. There were absolutely no rules in Windows development. Zilch, nada, zero. Youu could write any legal application , in any available lrogramming language. and distribute as you wish without so much a mention of MS.

            1. That came later? I didn’t realize we were allowed to use the past to prove the present. Well then, a long time ago anyone could write software for an Apple computer, so everything is all good today, right?

              I never said Windows was the same as iOS, I said there are rules when developing for Windows, and there are. There are APIs and drivers you need to use, there’s certification, there’s a developer license, there’s a set of guidelines. Is it much more open than iOS? Yes. Is it a free-for-all with zero rules? No, it is not. So shut up and go home whinging troll.

            2. My marijuana provider has an iOS and Android app. Neither of which are in any app store. Download from the website while on your iPhone, fingerprint ID to log in. Software has nothing to do with the App Store. Apple does warn you when you install that the app did not come thru their store. Yeah, whatever! It lets me order my weed fro my phone and the message me when it ships etc. as well as when they have sales or new products.

            3. I am not familiar with ‘side loading’. All I know is they have an iPhone app. You are required to log in with client ID and password, on the website, from your iPhone. Then you can d/l their app. When you install, iOS warns you that the app is not from the App Store and ‘Do you trust the source for this?”
              You say yes, it installs, and when you launch the app it asks your for client ID and password, like on the regular web page, and after that uses your fingerprint ID to log in to order your weed.
              They have a version for Android too, but I am not familiar with that. I suspect it requests ID and password, in the absence of fingerprint verification.
              Once you log in you can shop, and the app shows you prices and inventory levels of the various products. Company is Aurora, from Alberta.

            4. @macaholic
              Thanks for the info. I looked it up. It’s an Enterprise App that Aurora developed under an Enterprise license. It can be revoked by Apple at any time. Basically, Aurora is giving you an “Employee” or member app. Like I said Apple can shut it down at will.

              And this is the problem…

          1. a) Those authors should be able to sell their software as they please, in any channel they please.
            b) Owners of iOS devices should be able to get software Apple chooses not to offer.
            c) If you choose to buy App Store only, that’s your right, no one is forcing you to do otherwise.

          2. Same developers write code for mac, pc, android, and ios. The dream world that ios is pure and every other marketplace is rubbish exposes ignorance or at the very least comparing a decade old experience with a contemporary one. Living in the present, it doesn’t take much work on behalf of the user to avoid malware. Obviously you can find more junk on android and windows, they have more apps and windows is on am much older kernel with tons more legacy stuff to support. That doesn’t mean the intelligent user can’t do very well with them.

            MDN strongly chastises any regulation or monopoly power in any other venue, claiming that they can take care of themselves. Then in the next breath they extol the virtues of iOS restricting user choice, as if Big Brother Apple will always be true to the end user as Jobs was. From the moment Jobs left us, Cook has been promising a lot but providing zero proof that your data is secure on iCloud.

            Heaven help you when iCloud or the iOS store is hacked or someone inside Apple is caught with his hand in your data. The bubble will burst when the illusion of security and privacy is cracked. It’s only a matter of time. Apple is too big and ponderously slow to keep up with bad actors, just as Facebook and Google can’t separate fact from fiction on their platforms and just as Microsoft was a constant security concern when it was the gorilla with the biggest target on its back (and a penchant for monopolistic behavior making coders want to take a piece out of them if only for fun)

            Apple is the new Microsoft, only with a more restrictive wall around its garden.

  4. Monopolies are legal in the US. “Competition law does not make merely having a monopoly illegal.” The US even authorizes monopolies under circumstances that benefit society.

    Abusive monopolies, however, those that use predatory practices to destroy competition such as Microsoft and Google who abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users are illegal, so this suit must be alleging that Apple is a predator. How can that be? The suit “accuses Apple of thwarting competition by approving apps only if the developer agrees to let them be distributed exclusively through the App Store.” But Apple’s restriction benefits society because Apple does not approve faulty or offending apps so, I think, this is not an predatory and is not an abuse.

  5. Monopolies are legal in the US. “Competition law does not make merely having a monopoly illegal.” The US even authorizes monopolies under circumstances that benefit society.

    Abusive monopolies, however, those that use predatory practices to destroy competition such as Microsoft and Google who abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed Internet users are illegal, so this suit must be alleging that Apple is a predator. How can that be? The suit “accuses Apple of thwarting competition by approving apps only if the developer agrees to let them be distributed exclusively through the App Store.” But Apple’s restriction benefits society because Apple does not approve faulty or offending apps so, I think, this is not predatory and is not an abuse. Therefore, I think that Apple is in the clear unless anti-Apple sentiments infiltrate the court.

  6. Like the Trump administration knows anything about the law. This the most corrupt administration in history, and only 10 months in.

    Pay-to-play Mar-a-lago. Leaking classified info to Russians in the Oval. Aides using private email accounts. Chief of staff’s phone compromised for months. Shady deals with Russian oligarchs. Hidden tax returns. It goes on and on.

        1. Pervy Weinstein played a little joke on little Malia Obama when she came over to be an intern at his company…
          “Malia, say lettuce, then spell cup.”

          oh, that Pervy, such a scamp.

  7. ” Apple has no monopoly in smartphones”

    True, but nobody has a monopoly on cars either. Yet it has been declared illegal to monopolise servicing of your cars through technical means, which is basically what Apple has done.

    And yet there was an app market for computing devices before Apple.

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