Apple’s Supreme Court loss could change the way you buy apps

“Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed Apple a major defeat in an antitrust case,” Adi Robertson reports for The Verge. “A group of iOS users claimed Apple had unfairly driven up app prices with its locked-down App Store. Apple argued that the users had no right to sue since they were actually buying apps from developers instead of Apple. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, speaking for a majority of the court, disagreed.”

“The new ruling establishes that app buyers are Apple’s direct customers, giving them the right to proceed with their antitrust case,” Robertson reports. “This doesn’t have any immediate consequences for Apple because there’s still a long legal fight ahead. But if the plaintiffs’ case holds up, it could change the relationship between digital platforms and their users, giving customers the basic right to sue tech platforms for violating antitrust law.”

“The plaintiffs want Apple to offer partial refunds on all paid iPhone apps, as Rifkin puts it, to compensate ‘all the purchasers, wherever they may be, who bought iPhone apps for their iPhones at any time since the phone was introduced in 2007.’ They also want Apple to allow some alternative method of buying apps,” Robertson reports. “Morgan Reed, president of industry group The App Association, argues that yesterday’s ruling could result in onerous lawsuits that won’t ultimately help consumers. Reed points to the Supreme Court’s dissenting opinion, where Justice Neil Gorsuch claimed platforms might try to avoid the ‘direct seller’ label with inefficient workarounds, like making developers handle their own payments and then write a check to Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 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.

U.S. Supreme Court opens door for App Store lawsuit that Apple will likely win – May 14, 2019
Analyst: Apple investors ‘overreacting’ to U.S.-China trade war and Supreme Court App Store ruling – May 14, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s Apple App Store decision has ‘shaken up’ antitrust law – May 13, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court allows antitrust suit against Apple over App Store; AAPL slides 5% – May 13, 2019
Supreme Court rules against Apple in App Store antitrust case – May 13, 2019
Antitrust, the App Store, and Apple – November 27, 2018
Trump administration backs Apple in U.S. Supreme Court over App Store antitrust suit – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees in U.S. Supreme Court – November 26, 2018
Apple defends App Store fees as U.S. Supreme Court weighs consumer suit – November 23, 2018
Apple wants U.S. Supreme Court to undo previous decision regarding an antitrust suit – October 31, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court will decide if Apple’s App Store is an anti-competitive monopoly – June 19, 2018
U.S. Supreme Court to consider Apple appeal in antitrust suit over App Store prices – June 18, 2018
US DOJ sides with Apple over App Store antitrust allegations in Supreme Court brief – May 10, 2018
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. It is way past time for apple to license their app store platform. Hundreds of companies already have their own corporate appp stores. It is time that we should have a few large providers fir the consumer app store. Apple can set their terms, but Apple would no longer be the middleman,

    1. No that is dumb I buy from Apple because it is their store, I don’t want Google, Amazon, Facebook or anyone else ever not with a Apple product. Best buy, Walmart, AT&T F them….

  2. Aw now I see what Republicans complain about. It’s not government persay it’s laws and court decision they don’t like.

    How about this? If the law applies to everyone equally we all suffer with it. Nothing fairer than that.

    1. I agree but people think they are special which is why a flat tax of 20% for everyone no but’s, will never happen because people really don’t mean equal.

      1. Regardless of where one sits on the political map, the biggest threat to US freedom isn’t the other party. It’s corporate takeover by degrees. The final straw: declaring multinational organizations to have all the rights of a citizen without any responsibility or transparency requirements.

        Citizens United screwed everyone and most people are too brainwashed into bipolar bickering that they cannot see how they have been played.

        While it’s easy to pick out examples of people who made their fortunes (good and bad), increasingly the individual today is a flea compared to the power of any corporation.

        A CEO like Cook has practically unlimited power without any personal skin in the game. He’s an unelected oligarch using Apple resources as if they were his own. Investors are left in the dark on too many issues to count. It would be a tiny stroke of justice for Apple to have to allow iOS users control of their devices as they do with a Mac or PC or android.

      2. 20 % is too low. But if you would go for 33% no deduction what so ever, with health care for all with a 5 dollar co pay to be billed at the end of a year and a major reduction in military spending, I’m with you.

        The rich and well to do will always be able to get better or more cause they have more to spend. We certainly can get over that. Why, cause we all seem to chase more and more and more dollars.

        For example, what was the law those parents broke when they gave money to get their kid into school. That crap has been going on every since doors where invented. Funny how the masses whine about affirmative action. Apparently you don’t have to have extremely high SATscores to graduate from these so called good schools. So why bother with SATs, it’s just another gate, another tax, another money making scheme. Well let’s be even more honest with one another, it is really about elbow rubbing. Take trump for example do we really believe his daddy didn’t get him in. Did they have SAT test when he went to school? The thing is not getting in, the big thing should be getting out. That’s the earned part. Yes and the well to do and rich probably have been spending money there too. That’s where I have a problem. At the end of the day, it’s about a new ideas, a new way or different way of thinking, a new product, even a new way to con or cheat others out of money, none of that requires a college degree. For references I refer you to Bill and Steve, not to mention all those musical folks that now have perfume lines, clothing lines, hand bags, shoes, tv and movie production houses.

        Fair would be every college post their min scores and grades for acceptance three years ahead of the expected class, a mail in date, then just a random roll in the burrow pick from those with the schools decided minimums. Done. Quit whining. No exception. What happens if they don’t get enough students, too bad. May be the next time they post their mins they won’t be so high. Or, or they will cheat again.

  3. Everyone buying an iPhone knows that they have a walled garden. And if they realized it after the fact, that’s honesty their problem, not Apple’s.

    The market offers people a much less secure alternative if they don’t like Apple’s walled garden, and the BULK of the people have taken that choice. So Apple is not a monopoly and the “free market” works.

    Further, nobody was required to purchase apps. There are plenty of “free” apps out there.

    But even if you buy all that, how is the 30% fee abusive? Every developer agreed to do it, just like the purchaser of the apps. And many apps are “free”. As to the subscription policy, again, the devs agreed to it; if they handled the sale and paid Apple the plaintiffs would have no case, so this is just BS semantics.

    Is there going to be a lawsuit because I can’t play Halo on my platform of choice? Yeeesh.

    But this could turn out like the ridiculous case where Apple was found to be abusive by letting authors charge what they wanted for books even though they were a small minority of sales while the one screwing authors and a true monopoly got off scot free and continues to screw them.

      1. No, applecynic, your first sentence is wrong.

        Every developer has a choice. They can develop for whichever platforms they choose. If they choose Android, they need to play by the Android rules, same for iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Playstatio, Xbox, etc.

        When developing an app, I look at the pro’s and con’s for each platform and decide which one/ones I plan to develop on. Apple’s “walled garden” has many advantages for me as a developer and I therefore choose to develop on their platform.

        I was not born an iOS developer, I chose to become one and I could choose a different platform in the future.

        And you are absolutely right. I own the code I wrote to create my app and I can choose to port it to another platform whenever it suits me.

        1. Pay attention!

          “Every iOS developer had the exact same singular choice.” is what I said. You have ONE store to sell or give away your wares, and for that you need Apple’s permission. Your other choice would be to not code for iOS in which case you would not be an iOS developer. Maybe you need to brush up on your in… then…else. You seem rusty.

          There are no Android rules. There are no Windows rules. There are no MacOS rules (overall). You can code any kind of application you want, in any language you want, and if the language doesn’t exist, you can invent it. You can sell it in any multiple available (and competing) channels, or even direct to the consumer.

          If you want to equate iOS with game consoles, which are essentially one dimensional, then that’s laughable.

          You as an iOS developer has a SINGLE choice, which is not a choice at all. You need at least two.

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