Stephen Nellis and Dan Levine, reporting for Reuters:
iPhone app purchasers may sue Apple Inc over allegations that the
company monopolized the market for iPhone apps by not allowing
users to purchase them outside the App Store, leading to higher
prices, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday.
That sound you hear is thousands of indie iOS developers laughing at the notion of the App Store leading to “higher prices”.
Apple had argued that users did not have standing to sue it
because they purchased apps from developers, with Apple simply
renting out space to those developers. Developers pay a cut of
their revenues to Apple in exchange for the right to sell in the
A lower court sided with Apple, but Judge William A. Fletcher
ruled that iPhone users purchase apps directly from Apple, which
gives iPhone users the right to bring a legal challenge against
The courts have yet to address the substance of the iPhone users’
allegations; up this point, the wrangling has been over whether
they have the right to sue Apple in the first place.
I think it’s fair to say that users buy apps from Apple, not from the developers, so the fact that they can sue Apple strikes me as the correct ruling. But I don’t see how Apple can be ruled to have a “monopoly” — everyone knows Android phones comprise a majority of the market. It’s fair to object to Apple’s tight control over iOS, but you can’t fairly call it a “monopoly”.
★ Friday, 13 January 2017