Apple is the supreme court to defend the way it sells iPhone apps against consumer claims that the company has unjustly monopolized the market.
Governments hear arguments Monday on Apple's efforts to end antitrust lawsuit that may force the iPhone maker to cut the 30% reward it charges for software vendors whose applications are sold exclusively from the Apple App Store. Judge may triple compensation to consumers under competition law if Apple ultimately looses the lawsuit.
Apple says it does not own applications or sell them. This is the responsibility of software developers.
But lawsuit says Cupertino, a California based company, pursues a lot of control over the process, including the requirement for prices to run out .99. And iPhone apps are only available through the App Store.
The question of the Supreme Court is whether Apple may also sue applications, in the light of previous high-law decisions on competition law matters. In other cases, the judges have said that there must be a direct link between the seller and the parties to an inappropriate anti-competitive pricing.
Consumers can choose from more than 2 million applications over 500 applications available when Apple created the App Store in 2008. "The phrase" is an application that is now part of the popular glossary, "Chief Justice John Roberts noted the 2014 decision that limits a police police patrol phone. Apple is a trademark.
But the company says that the popularity of software on iPhones and the App Store must not hide the fact that consumers are buying applications from developers, not Apple.
"Apple is a developer sales and distribution agent," Apple lawyers said the Supreme Court's registry. "Apple's key argument has always been that consumer harm is necessarily dependent on developers' pervasive decisions because Apple does not set application prices."
Apple's sales charge is 30 percent, but it says that its pricing structure complaints come from developers, not consumers, as they are developers who pay the premium. Trump administration supports Apple at a high court.
The trial court initially dismissed the trial, but the ninth US District District Court of Appeal recovered it.
Consumer lawyers asked the Supreme Court to allow the lawsuit to be resumed. Consumers "pay monopoly prices for apps directly to Apple App Store", lawyers wrote at their highest court. This direct relationship makes Apple the right objective of antitrust proceedings, they said.
Apple's profits could seriously limit consumers' ability to challenge anticompetitive offenses, although Congress said such lawsuits "would be a key factor in enforcing competition laws," warned 18 researchers in the Antitrust Law Supreme Court register.
The decision Apple Inc. v. Pepper, 17-204, is expected late in the spring.
Supreme Court of the United States solves Apple's case over the app monopoly (update)