US DOJ sides with Apple over App Store antitrust allegations in Supreme Court brief

“The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Apple’s fight against a class action suit alleging that the company violates antitrust laws in regards to how it assesses app store fees, and how it decides what is hosted on the App Store,” Stephen Silver repots for AppleInsider.

“The class suing believe Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviors in taking a cut from developers sale proceeds,” Silver reports. “Also at issue is whether companies like Apple can be sued under antitrust law over App Stores, with the plaintiffs potentially awarded treble damages because of the behavior.”

“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — which includes Apple’s headquarters area of Northern California — had ruled for the plaintiffs last year, leading Apple to appeal to the U.S Supreme Court,” Silver reports. “In the amicus brief, written by a group of lawyers led by Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, the DOJ argues that the appeals court misapplied previous precedent.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Department of Justice is right to support Apple in this case.

As we wrote in August 2013:

First: One would assume that a large corporation such as Apple would have had competent legal advice when they set up their App Store, in order that it be set up in legal fashion.

Second: On every iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini box, the potential buyer is informed of requirements, including “iTunes X.x or later required for some features” and also that an “iTunes Store account” is required. The plaintiffs were informed of the requirements prior to purchase. If the plaintiffs didn’t like the terms that came along with Apple devices, they should have opted for a pretend iPhone from any one of a dime-a-dozen handset assemblers. Then they could blissfully infest their fake iPhones with malware from a variety of sources.

Third: Apple doesn’t set the prices for paid apps.

Fourth: The amount by which Apple Inc. has driven down software prices across the board, on every major computing platform, makes legal actions such as this eminently laughable.

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revives antitrust lawsuit against Apple – January 13, 2017
Apple App Store antitrust complaint dismissed on procedural grounds by U.S. judge – August 16, 2013


    1. notice that that the DOJ is under a different presidential administration. I dislike Trump for certain things but if people are honest if you study it there were some people in Obama’s administration who hated Apple especially over Apple’s fight for privacy and were actively pressuring Apple to back down in the fight against encryption backdoors etc. (obama himself sort of stood aloof but allowed his aides and others like the FBI director and other higher ups to go ‘ballistic’ )

      1. The Supreme Court is under no “administration”. You should reread about the separation of powers of the three branches of US government. The founding fathers specifically designed the Scotus to be politically neutral and disinterested. Qualified judges are required to be impartial and do recuse themselves if there is any appearance of bias or impropriety. It is perhaps the only branch of federal government that is working as designed. If you are disappointed half the time in the outcome of SC cases, that is a good indicator that the court is doing it right.

    1. And it doesn’t matter what party is in charge. They both come up with excuses for violating the US Constitution in one way or another for political purposes, as opposed to serving We The People and defending the US Constitution. Two worthless political parties. Shot by both sides.

  1. MDN’s 4th point makes no sense since no non-Apple device can access nor use any of the Apps being sold. That’s like saying I have some cranberries here and by pricing them ‘affordably’ it lowers the pricing of bananas in a totally different market.

    1. I don’t fully understand MDN’s logic. But if we compare the prices of cranberries in two totally different markets, there can theoretically be a decrease in cranberries in the second market because of decreases in the first market. Comparisons of prices between the markets, such as between iOS vs Android, are inevitable and may have some effect on user’s choices.

      Has Apple driven down software prices anywhere? I have no idea.

      1. You’re right, I should have selected a better analogy with 2 ‘products’ A and B where people of group A can only use product A, group B can only use product B. Changing either product’s price really has no bearing on changing the price of the other since they can never compete for the same group.

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