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Apple Shares Fall After Supreme Court Allows Consumer Lawsuit Over App Store

Apple Shares Fall After Supreme Court Allows Consumer Lawsuit Over App Store

In a dissenting opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court's more conservative members called the ruling a break from precedent and warned that it could lead to complex litigation over who exactly played what role in setting prices for individual products. That's not an easy calculation to do-and it's not a problem that comes up if developers sue Apple instead.

The suit, filed by leading plaintiff Robert Pepper, dates back to 2011.

Their claims have been revised since then and, in 2017, an appeals court picked up the case.

Justices have ruled 5-4 against the tech giant in an antitrust case that will allow iPhone users to move forward with their almost decade-old suit against the company. Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the court's four liberal judges - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan - in the ruling.

For example, Apple giving up on the iPhone SE this year doesn't make much sense, as the company has restarted sales of this 4-inch iPhone several times throughout 2019, most likely to clear out inventory.

Tom's Hardware has reached out to Apple for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.




"The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick", Kavanaugh wrote in the majority opinion, citing the doctrine that prohibits indirect purchasers from suing companies for damages under antitrust law.

To the question of whether Apple could now be subject to lawsuits from different plaintiffs - by consumers who are downstream in the sales process, and by suppliers who are further upstream - Kavanaugh wrote, "A retailer who is both a monopolist and a monopsonist may be liable to different classes of plaintiffs".

CNN reports that the U.S. Supreme Court passed down a ruling on Monday that affects Apple and other companies that offer a closed operating system.

The suit could force Apple to cut the commission it charges software developers.

When I initially wrote up the case, I described Apple's argument as "confusing and counterintuitive". Those companies, which include Facebook, Google and Amazon, were on Apple's side during the Supreme Court deliberation, and may be affected by the outcome of the antitrust suit. They were supported by 30 state attorneys general, including from Texas, California and NY.

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