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Supreme Court Rules Against Apple App Store, Allows Antitrust Case to Move Forward

May 13, 2019, 2:45 PM UTC

Apple critics who feel the company charges too much for apps have received a big shot in the arm from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Justices have ruled 5-4 against the tech giant in an antitrust case that will allow iPhone users to move forward with their nearly decade-old suit against the company.

Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices in the vote. Four conservatives dissented.

The case focused on whether consumers, who were unhappy over app prices, could target Apple directly for its 30% commission fee or if they had to focus on app developers who passed that charge along. Also at issue was the rule that prices must end in 99 cents.

A federal judge initially ruled in Apple’s favor in the case, but an appeal to the 9th Circuit overturned that decision. The Supremes ultimately agreed.

“Apple’s line-drawing does not make a lot of sense, other than as a way to gerrymander Apple out of this and similar lawsuits,” Kavanaugh wrote. “We decline to green-light monopolistic retailers to exploit their market position. … We refuse to rubber stamp such a blatant evasion of statutory text and judicial precedent.”

Apple shares were down more than 5% Monday morning following the verdict.

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