On Monday, Apple finally had its highly anticipated hearing before the United States Supreme Court. Since 2011, the tech giant has been fighting antitrust litigation that claims its App Store policies amount to an unfair monopoly. Those who were present at today’s hearing say the case’s outcome isn’t looking great for Apple.
The case of Pepper v Apple Inc has taken a complex path to the highest court in the land (which we’ve previously covered), but the most important thing to know is that lower courts have disagreed over whether Robert Pepper and three other Apple users who joined him in a class-action suit even had the right to sue the iPhone maker. Pepper argues that by forcing iOS users to get apps from the Apple App Store and charging developers a 30-percent cut of their revenue, the company is creating a system in which no one can compete and higher prices are absorbed by the consumer. Apple cites precedents like Illinois Brick and Hanover Shoe to argue that it is simply acting as a middleman between app developers and users and, therefore, cannot be legally blamed for any “passed on” charges. The company argues that if consumers have a problem with the prices of apps, they should have to take it up with individual developers. Read more