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Justices skeptical about Apple about iPhone Apps sales

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court appeared ready Monday to allow a trial to claim that Apple has improperly monopolized the…

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court appeared ready Monday to allow a trial to claim that Apple has improperly monopolized the iPhone iPhone market.

The court heard arguments in Apple’s efforts to turn off an antitrust target. Chief Justice John Roberts was one of the nine justice who seemed willing to agree with Apple.

The iPhone User’s Clothing could force Apple to cut the 30 percent commission that costs software developers whose apps are sold exclusively through Apple’s App Store. A referee can triple the compensation to consumers under anti-trust laws if Apple eventually loses suit.

But the issue of the Supreme Court in this early stage of the costume is whether the case can go at all. Justice Stephen Breyer, who used to teach antitrust law at Harvard Law School, said that consumers’ cases seemed simple and in line with a century of antitrust law.

Apple claims that it’s just a pipeline between app developers and consumers.

Developers set prices and agreed to pay Apple a 30 percent commission on what they sell, said the lawyer who represents Apple in the courtroom. If anyone could sue in the Cupertino, California-based company, it’s a developer, said Daniel Wall. “There have been plenty of disputes, no one has gone to litigation,” he said.

But Justice Elena Kagan said it seems that consumers have a direct relationship with Apple. “I’m getting my iPhone, going to the Apple App Store, paying Apple directly with credit card information I delivered to Apple,” said Kagan.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that if consumers pay more than they should, they may be able to sue. The relevant federal antitrust law states that “any injured person” can sue, said Kavanaugh.

His comments could put him on the side of justice that would allow the costume to continue. In other cases, the court has ruled that there must be a direct relationship between the seller and a party complaining of unfair anti-competitive prices.

Consumers can choose from more than 2 million apps compared to the 500 apps available when Apple created the App Store 2008. “The phrase” there’s an app for it “is now part of the popular lexicon,” Roberts noted a decision of 2014 that limits independent searches of mobile phones by the police. Apple has a trademarked phrase.

But the company says that the popularity of the software for the iPhones and App Store should not hide consumers buying apps from developers, not Apple. Developer set prices, but Apple requires prices to end in99, Wall said. The trumpet administration supports Apple at the Supreme Court.

Represents consumers, lawyer David Frederick said that the monopoly Apple has over iPhone apps is unique in the digital age. “Apple can not point to another e-commerce distributor who does what it does,” said Frederick. Even Apple allows third parties to sell software directly to buyers of their laptops and desktops, he said.

A court of law initially dismisses the suit. The 9th US Criminal Court revived it.

A victory for Apple could severely limit consumers’ ability to sue over anti-trust crimes, despite the congressional prediction of such features “would be a key part of the enforcement of antitrust laws”, warned 18 antitrust appellants in a Supreme Court application.

A decision by Apple Inc. v Pepper, 17-204, is expected late in the spring.

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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