However, the judges are divided on whether users can file antitrust claims, or whether developers should.
In the US, a group of iPhone users appealed to the Supreme Court due to the fact that Apple sells all applications only through the AppStore. The plaintiffs are confident that the company has created an illegal monopoly that creates inflated prices. By June, the court must decide whether users can sue the company, or application developers should.
As stated in the lawsuit, developers can only sell a product to users through the AppStore, and the company charges 30% of the commission from them.
Apple created anti-competitive restrictions for iPhone owners so that they could not buy applications anywhere else but the App Store. As a result, the owners of smartphones pay Apple for applications more than they could in the market with competition.
David Frederickplaintiffs lawyer
The court must decide whether users can sue Apple for creating a monopoly. According to the company, they can not do it, because Apple does not set prices for applications – this task lies with the developers. Apple is confident that it acts as an intermediary between developers and users, and they do not buy applications from the company. Apple is also confident that only developers can file a lawsuit against the company because of the creation of a monopoly, since it is they who pay for their product to appear in the App Store.
Judge Elena Kagan is confident that users have the right to go to court, because they transfer the payment for the application directly to Apple, and not to the developers. She was supported by three more judges.
However, two other judges questioned that users could file a lawsuit. They recalled that, under federal law, only those directly affected by the actions of the monopolist can act as plaintiffs in monopoly cases. In their opinion, in this case they are developers, not users.