Lawsuit alleges Apple suppressed App Store competitors’ rankings, until they got caught

Reed Albergotti, The Washington Post:

An email app developer says it has uncovered new data that suggests Apple has long been suppressing the rankings of apps in the App Store that compete with Apple’s own offerings, according to new court filings by the developer, which sued Apple in October for patent infringement and antitrust violations.

Blix, which developed the BlueMail app, made the discovery only when Apple’s rankings suddenly changed in its favor. At the end of September, Blix unexpectedly jumped from 143rd in Apple’s ranking for mail apps to 13th… Blix started looking at other apps that also compete with Apple’s preinstalled apps… “Multiple different types of Apple app competitors enjoyed a sudden, unexplained rise in search rankings,” according to Blix’s latest filing in court, which appeared Friday. The spike came roughly two weeks after a New York Times article examined how Apple ranked its own apps higher than competitors’.

MacDailyNews Take: Perhaps Apple undertook a review after the NYT article and found an error or errors which they then corrected? Hanlon’s Razor. We’ll await Apple’s explanation of why the App Store rankings jumped should this go to trial.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ladd Morse” for the heads up.]

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