Apple defeats antitrust class action challenging App Store control

Finding fatal flaws in an antitrust lawsuit claiming Apple monopolizes iOS app distribution, a U.S. federal judge this week threw out a class action that sought to make the Apple relax or end its App Store review process and stop charging annual fees to developers.

Apple logo

Nicholas Iovino for Courthouse News:

Lead plaintiff Coronavirus Reporter, an app designed to collect “biostatistical and epidemiological data,” joined with other app developers to sue the technology giant claiming antitrust violations this past July

Coronavirus Reporter and its co-plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction that would temporarily block Apple from keeping certain apps out of its App Store and charging developers a $99 yearly App Store submission fee.

In a 34-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen denied the motion for an injunction as moot after dismissing the lawsuit. Chen found the developers failed to adequately identify a market over which Apple exerts monopolistic control.

Chen concluded those market definitions were unclear and “failed to pass muster.”

“Missing from plaintiffs’ market definitions is the identification of any well-pleaded allegations that support the boundaries they seek to define,” Chen wrote.

Most of the markets identified are “single-brand markets” in which Apple is “inherently and necessarily” the only participant, Chen wrote. The judge said the developers offered no facts that would justify an “extremely rare” finding that a single-brand market gives rise to an antitrust claim…

In brief phone interviews, Isaacs and Coronavirus Reporter lawyer Keith Matthews said they were “baffled” by the ruling and intend to appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, Apple does not have a monopoly in smartphones (or, in fact, in any other market in which they compete), so there can be no “monopoly abuse” precluding any antitrust action.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, November 2021:

• Android: 70.74%
• iOS: 28.54%

I don’t think anybody reasonable is going to come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly. Our share is much more modest. We don’t have a dominant position in any market… We are not a monopoly.Apple CEO Tim Cook, June 2019

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. Bull crap about a monopoly… Apple Pays 30%+ Taxes to the U.S. Government. and Billions to Developers who make a Decent app. FedEx, Nike, General Electric, Duke Energy, Dish Network and a Dozen others pay no Taxes… Save your comments for their Sites!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.