Apple may soon face an antitrust lawsuit from consumers over its App Store revenue policy. As reported by the CNBC, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled against the company, saying that iPhone users are entitled to file a lawsuit against it due to the 30% revenue cut that it gets from purchases made on the App Store.
The group of consumers facing Apple in court argued that the large cut taken by the firm for publishing apps on the App Store leads developers to increase their prices, therefore passing that burden onto consumers. This is especially concerning because iPhone and iPad users are not allowed to install apps from outside the App Store, which essentially means that Apple holds a monopoly on how iOS apps are distributed.
It's worth noting that Google's Play Store charges a similar revenue cut, but Android users can install apps from outside Google's distribution platform. Epic Games is one of the standout cases of companies that chose to do so, having released Fortnite through its own website instead.
The case against goes a while back, and the Supreme Court had already hinted at this resolution back in November, when it showed skepticism of Apple's defense. The firm had argued that under the Illinois brick doctrine - which states that only those directly affected by antitrust violations can collect damages from the offender - it would be app developers, and not consumers, that are entitled to file lawsuits.
The Supreme Court ultimately decided that Apple's argument wasn't solid, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh saying that "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". To be clear, this does not make Apple guilty of any antitrust violations by itself, and the Supreme Court won't rule on lawsuits filed against the company. This ruling simply opens the door for consumers to file those lawsuits, and it could ultimately result in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars for the iPhone maker.
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