iPhone Customers File Class Action Lawsuit
App Store – Just a Big Monopoly?
Turns out, not all Apple lovin iPhone owners are all that thrilled with Apple’s App Store which only allows Apple Approved apps to be allowed into it’s marketplace.
So those customers got together and filed a Class Action Lawsuit that the Supreme court plans to rule on in late June.
A lawsuit Apple hopes the nations Highest Court throws neatly out the window.
And, I’m with Apple on this one.
Those customers need to become Android users post, haste.
One of the biggest reasons for Apple only allowing approved apps onto it’s marketplace is because Apple is really, really good at reviewing apps so that no app in its marketplace has malware on it, unlike those one with let’s say and Android would find on the Google Play Store.
Just this holiday weekend it was discovered that Google’s Play Store had apps on it’s marketplace that ended being installed 500,000 + times by its users.
Apple generally works really hard to make sure something like that does not happen before the app is ever offered on it’s marketplace. Apple does charge developers a 30% fee for each app offered once approved in its marketplace.
Technically, that is not a monopoly. Almost all apps from Google Play to the App Store are the same, the only difference is generally related to compatibility, trusted developers and those that contain malware.
David Frederick, a lawyer representing the customers had this to say:
“Apple’s intentionally closed system prevents competition, which enables the App Store to collect a higher price than if Apple were forced to entice app seekers in a competitive market.”
Not sure if David has any Apple products or not, I do and side by side, almost all of the apps offered on both Google Play and the App store are the same.
Each marketplace is built specifically for different platforms.
Suing Apple over what it allows onto it’s marketplace is the very equivalent of telling Apple to change its entire platform.
Daniel Wall, a lawyer for Apple, says the company, is not stifling competition but had, “created a dynamic new industry where none had existed before, which drove an explosion of development and innovation in mobile apps.”
And, for the last 40 years, the courts have held that when there’s an illegal monopoly, only the direct purchaser can sue for damages.
Which means, you can’t sue Apple.
Only the app developers could sue, because they are the actual buyers of Apple’s distribution service not those of us that simply own an Apple product.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals however, reversed that.
So Apple is taking matters all the way to the top.
And for once the Trump administration is doing something intelligent, siding with Apple on this. The Justice Department said it would be particularly hard to figure out whether the App Store overcharges, since the prices are set by tens of thousands of app developers and not Apple, if you wanted to be technical about it.
And I do love technicalities.
Guess we’ll all have to wait until June to see how the court rules this go around.
Cristal M Clark
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