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  1. #1

    Customers can sue Apple for Monopolistic behavior with App Store.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/13/tech/...urt/index.html

    New York (CNN Business)A group of iPhone owners who accuse Apple of violating US antitrust rules can sue the company, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. They claim Apple's App Store is a monopoly.

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the majority opinion, said that when "retailers engage in unlawful anticompetitive conduct that harms consumers," people buying those companies' products have the right to hold the businesses to account.
    "That is why we have antitrust law," Kavanaugh wrote. The court's four liberal justices joined Kavanaugh in the 5-4 decision.
    The Supreme Court opinion notably does not accuse Apple of violating antitrust law: It holds that consumers have the right to sue the company for monopolistic behavior, because they purchase apps directly from Apple.
    The ruling could have wide implications for other tech companies that operate similarly walled-off online storefronts, said Gene Kimmelman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge and a former Justice Department antitrust official.
    "It definitely should make tech companies wonder how the antitrust laws will be applied going forward in an online platform environment," said Kimmelman.
    That is why we have antitrust law"

    JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH

    The case stems from a 2011 class-action suit by iPhone owners alleging that by taking a 30% cut of app sales, Apple has encouraged app developers to raise their prices in response. Consumers have been harmed by the practice, the suit claimed, because Apple does not allow customers to download apps from any other source other than the iTunes App Store. Unlike Android, iOS customers can only get apps from that official source, which Apple says serves as kind of quality control to weed out security threats and apps that violate the company's terms of service.
    Apple (AAPL) argued that the iPhone owners do not have the right to sue because Apple is an intermediary. But the Supreme Court held that iPhone owners have a "direct purchaser" relationship with Apple, and may sue under a precedent known as Illinois Brick.
    Had Apple been allowed to set the terms of the legal fight, the court said, it would have hindered the ability of consumers to seek relief from alleged monopolists.
    "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 said it is confident it will ultimately prevail in the case now that it can proceed.
    "The App Store is not a monopoly by any metric," the company said in a statement. "Developers set the price they want to charge for their app and Apple has no role in that."
    The company also noted developers can build apps for other platforms, including smart TVs, rival operating systems and video game consoles. But the customers bringing the case note the iTunes App Store remains the only place Apple customers can get software for their iPhones and iPads.

    Antitrust experts welcomed the Court's reasoning that allowing Apple to avoid the class-action suit "would provide a roadmap" for others to evade the law.
    "It's important that we get rid of these silly, technocratic barriers to seeking relief under the antitrust laws," said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at Open Markets, a think tank that has criticized the tech industry as being too powerful and concentrated. What will follow will likely be years of litigation, she added. "I expect Apple will contest this heavily and fight this case for several years to come, because it's a lot of revenue at stake."
    The Supreme Court did not rule on the customers' likelihood of success — only that they have the right to sue. Apple argued that it was not a monopoly, rather a platform for app developers who can set their own prices. It has said that if the court allowed the case to proceed, it would disrupt the e-commerce market.
    Apple's stock fell 5.3% on the news. The broader market was down more than 2% Monday.
    It's about time Apple gets punished for forcing its users to ONLY use their store in order to get apps and charging all developers a 30% tax per purchase and $99 a year. I bet apple stock is going to take a hit considering their digital store future growth is all that is holding the stock up with their phone sales plummeting. Apple is one of the worst companies out there. They sell chargers that fray at the ends within a couple months of use for 70 dollars when they only cost 11 dollars to make. This is a major victory for consumers.

    Edit: It hasn't been ruled whether App store is a monopoly yet. The case has been allowed to proceed and customers can sue apple for monopolistic behavior, but hasn't officially been determined to be a "monopoly" yet. Changed title. Hopefully there is more to come in the future. Thanks everyone for pointing out my laziness and helping me fix the thread.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2019-05-14 at 12:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Titan Daemos daemonium's Avatar
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    So when we get disc-less consoles will they need to have more then one shop to not be a monopoly?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    So when we get disc-less consoles will they need to have more then one shop to not be a monopoly?
    I'd be happier if we somehow broke the console exclusives and made them a free for all.

    But that'll never happen.

    I look forward to the day you buy the better console, not the console with the better exclusives. every gen there's been a console that's just objectively better than the others. It's generally the Playstation.

  4. #4
    The Insane PACOX's Avatar
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    Isn't it just that they have the right to sue, not necessarily that Apple is violating anything?

    Doesn't mean they plaintiffs would win.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    So when we get disc-less consoles will they need to have more then one shop to not be a monopoly?
    Probably depends on if MS is taking a cut from the store, which seems to be the issue here. Forgive my ignorance on whether or not they do. The fact that a disc drive version exists could also come in to play.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Isn't it just that they have the right to sue, not necessarily that Apple is violating anything?

    Doesn't mean they plaintiffs would win.
    I think its like if an app that the apple store is hosting does something illegal with your data then you can hold apple legally resposible versus a company that will vanish into a slew of shell companies and reappear the next day under a new name.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    So when we get disc-less consoles will they need to have more then one shop to not be a monopoly?
    Disc-less consoles being limited to one getting content only from 1 shop is completely artificial limitation. Consoles are essentially just cheap gaming optimized computers.

    Games being specifically designed for and optimized for 1 specific hardware set up or being funded by and produced by the builders of the hardware (like Microsoft making games for Xbox which they also build) can justify the game being limited to one specific platform.

    What Apple is doing is completely different. You own the phone, app makers own the app, but they force you to buy content only through the store and force app makers to sell only through their store while applying massive and unwarranted charges.
    Quote Originally Posted by Orlong View Post
    It doesnt destroy the land to bury styrofoam 25 feet below the ground
    Today Obama once again kneeled at the altar of environmental naziism and hurt this once great country. He has now banned all drilling in the Atlantic Ocean

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Isn't it just that they have the right to sue, not necessarily that Apple is violating anything?

    Doesn't mean they plaintiffs would win.
    Yeah, this is just a statement that the plaintiffs were purchasing apps directly from apple.

    We merely hold that the
    Illinois Brick direct-purchaser rule does not bar these
    plaintiffs from suing Apple under the antitrust laws. We
    affirm the judgment of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the
    Ninth Circuit.
    This was basically apple's only realistic chance at defeating the suit though. They're definitely the only place to buy apps for apple phones (they hold a monopoly on the market). They definitely take a 30% cut. They definitely have told developers to raise their prices to compensate for apple's cut (damages from non-competitive market). It only takes the monopoly and damages caused by the monopoly to be in violation.

    Edit: a link to a page with the judgement.
    Last edited by Ripster42; 2019-05-13 at 09:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudol Von Stroheim View Post
    I do not need to play the role of "holier than thou". I'm above that..

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemos daemonium View Post
    So when we get disc-less consoles will they need to have more then one shop to not be a monopoly?
    Android phones have multiple "shops" to download content from and you are free to download stuff from the internet. Apple locks you from downloading apps anywhere but their app store and they charge a 30% commission on all that content.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    Android phones have multiple "shops" to download content from and you are free to download stuff from the internet. Apple locks you from downloading apps anywhere but their app store and they charge a 30% commission on all that content.
    It isn't a 30% commission that they charge. It is a $0.30 cent per purchase plus $99 per year.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Utinil View Post
    It isn't a 30% commission that they charge. It is a $0.30 cent per purchase plus $99 per year.
    30 percent.. 30 cent.. I see where the confusion was... but still... Thanks for clearing that up.

    Edit: Looked into it and it actually is 30%.
    Last edited by GreenJesus; 2019-05-14 at 12:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/13/tech/...urt/index.html



    It's about time Apple gets punished for forcing its users to ONLY use their store in order to get apps and charging all developers a 30% tax. I bet apple stock is going to take a hit considering their digital store future growth is all that is holding the stock up with their phone sales plummeting. Apple is one of the worst companies out there. They sell chargers that fray at the ends within a couple months of use for 70 dollars when they only cost 11 dollars to make. This is a major victory for consumers.
    Bullshit. Read what you quoted.

    The Supreme Court opinion notably does not accuse Apple of violating antitrust law: It holds that consumers have the right to sue the company for monopolistic behavior, because they purchase apps directly from Apple.
    - - - Updated - - -

    Does this mean Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft users can do the same for their respective digital stores for their consoles?
    Quote Originally Posted by zenkai View Post
    100:1 odds that he wont
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Okay. I'll stop sharing my views.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Bullshit. Read what you quoted.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Does this mean Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft users can do the same for their respective digital stores for their consoles?
    Apple does monopolistic things and can be sued for it...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    Apple does monopolistic things and can be sued for it...
    It specifically didn't accuse them of violating anti-trust laws. That's what is required for the SCOTUS to rule it a monopoly. It would have to find they violated them. Like with Microsoft back in the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by zenkai View Post
    100:1 odds that he wont
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Okay. I'll stop sharing my views.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    It specifically didn't accuse them of violating anti-trust laws. That's what is required for the SCOTUS to rule it a monopoly. It would have to find they violated them. Like with Microsoft back in the day.
    I guess I got baited by CNN's headline and got excited Apple was getting fucked and went straight to mmochamp.

    "iPhone owners can sue Apple over App Store monopoly" - That is the title.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    I guess I got baited by CNN's headline and got excited Apple was getting fucked.

    "iPhone owners can sue Apple over App Store monopoly" - That is the title.
    Weird. It's "iPhone owners can sue Apple over monopolizing the App Store" for me. Which still doesn't imply that the SCOTUS found they were a monopoly. When that happens a company is penalized by the courts, it's not up to the consumers to sue them.

    It does seem like this could affect things like the digital stores for consoles though.
    Quote Originally Posted by zenkai View Post
    100:1 odds that he wont
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Okay. I'll stop sharing my views.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas82 View Post
    Weird. It's "iPhone owners can sue Apple over monopolizing the App Store" for me. Which still doesn't imply that the SCOTUS found they were a monopoly. When that happens a company is penalized by the courts, it's not up to the consumers to sue them.

    It does seem like this could affect things like the digital stores for consoles though.
    So basically this case is the first step in deciding if App store is a monopoly. Since the case has been allowed to proceed Apple will have to be able to prove the app store doesn't have a monopoly over the distribution of apps on iphones (which is basically impossible to do). I wonder what this means for Sony PS4 exclusives.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/appl...usiness-2019-5
    The case isn't the only threat to Apple's App Store fees
    The court's ruling was narrow. The justices didn't decide whether Apple had a monopoly, whether it was abusing it, or what the penalty would be for doing so; instead, they simply ruled the consumers had a right to sue Apple and their case could proceed.

    But that ruling is a significant setback to Apple, because it increases the likelihood that the case will actually go to trial. And it's not hard to see how that could be a big problem for Apple.

    It shouldn't be too hard for the plaintiffs to show that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of iPhone apps. It also shouldn't be too difficult for them to show that the fees Apple charges makes those apps pricier than they would otherwise be. One has to look no farther than Spotify, which charged $3 more to customers who signed up for its service through Apple's app store than those who subscribed through its website. Spotify has said it did that to cover the cost of Apple's fees. And Spotify isn't the only company plaintiffs can point to that had similar pricing practices.

    In other words, there's a good chance that Apple will lose the case on its merits.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenJesus View Post
    So basically this case is the first step in deciding if App store is a monopoly. Since the case has been allowed to proceed Apple will have to be able to prove the app store doesn't have a monopoly over the distribution of apps on iphones (which is basically impossible to do).

    https://www.businessinsider.com/appl...usiness-2019-5
    Which will then have a chain reaction effect going to consoles like the PS4, XBONE SAD(especially this one), and the Switch. Should be interesting to see what the ramifications are of this kind of thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by zenkai View Post
    100:1 odds that he wont
    Quote Originally Posted by freefolk View Post
    Okay. I'll stop sharing my views.

  19. #19
    kavanaugh a liberal now? Maybe its just beccause he hates tech companiies like tucker carlson because they ban right wing nut jobs. anyways good decision regardless of his motivations.

  20. #20
    This is one of those things that feels good, but is actually pretty bad. Apple store is no more a monopoly, than PlayStation store.
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