Apple faces another antitrust case

apple queueA US appeals court has allowed phone app purchasers to sue the fruity-cargo cult Apple over allegations that the company monopolised the market for iPhone apps by not allowing users to purchase them outside the App Store.

Apple has form for playing monopoly but it had thought that this case would have gone away. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling dug up a long-simmering legal challenge originally filed in 2012 taking aim at Apple’s practice of only allowing iPhones to run apps purchased from its own App Store.

A group of iPhone users sued saying Jobs’ Mob’s practice was anti competitive and meant prices were too high

Apple’s mighty briefs claimed 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 App Store.

A lower court agreed with Apple, but Judge William Fletcher ruled that iPhone users purchase apps directly from Apple, which gives iPhone users the right to bring a legal challenge against Apple.

The Tame Apple Press insists that Apple is safe because the case has not really got to court yet as the wrangling has been over whether they have the right to sue Apple in the first place. However if the challenge does succeed Apple will be forced to let people shop for applications wherever they want, which would open the market and help lower prices.

Apple to pay people damages for the higher than competitive prices they’ve had to pay historically because Apple has used its monopoly. The case will run and run of course. Apple tends not to know when it is beaten, even when it has clearly lost. It took one case to the Supreme Court where it got a good kicking for its trouble.