Apple: The App Store isn't a monopoly 'by any metric'

Apple is seen at a store in Zurich Switzerland

Indeed, another Trump appointee - Justice Neil Gorsuch - wrote in the dissenting opinion about this ruling that app developers have more legitimate standing to contend with Apple, not consumers. Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the court's four liberal judges - Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan - in the ruling.

The iPhone owners purchase apps directly from the retailer Apple, who is the alleged antitrust violator. He also addressed Apple's claim that they do not set app prices by pointing out that the company's practice of charging app developers $99 per year plus 30 percent of sales indeed affects pricing. Apple argued that it was not a monopoly, rather a platform for app developers who can set their own prices.

The legal setback for Apple comes as investors are looking to the company's services business, including its App Store, to fuel growth as iPhone sales slow. "The only instance where Apple shares in revenue is if the developer chooses to sell digital services through the App Store", they added. However, a small majority of SCOTUS justices disagreed, meaning antitrust lawsuits against Apple can go forward. Apple iOS platform is notable for completely shutting out alternative means of app distribution.

The dissent was also anxious that simple contractual changes could see companies use the decision to their advantage - but in the opposite direction: "To evade the Court's test, all Apple must do is amend its contracts".

Saudi Arabia says oil tankers targeted in 'sabotage attack'
It said the UAE had taken all necessary measures and launched an investigation in coordination with worldwide authorities. Fujairah's port is located about 85 miles from the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil at sea is traded.

The court did not rule on the plaintiff's merits, but the matter can now be litigated in District Court.

FILE PHOTO: Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in NY, U.S., August 1, 2018. The vast majority of apps on the App Store are free and Apple gets nothing from them. Apple previously claimed that it was just an intermediary for purchases, but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

"It is undisputed that that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple", Kavanaugh wrote.

"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", the opinion said. Apple will happily spend some of the billions of dollars it makes through the current system on lawyers in an effort to stretch the case out for another eight years, especially since the legal action as now structured seeks antitrust-grade triple damages. Other antitrust experts were excited by the Supreme Court's decision, especially those who criticize the tech industry for being too powerful with such power in the hands of only a few giant companies.

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