Around the world (Reuters Top News) — In setback for Apple, U.S. Supreme Court lets App Store antitrust suit proceed reuters.com/article/us-usa….
A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave the go-ahead to an antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple Inc of forcing consumers to overpay for iPhone software applications, a decision that could lead to billions of dollars in damages and put at risk the company's lucrative way of selling apps.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices upheld a lower court’s decision to allow the proposed class action lawsuit to proceed. The consumer plaintiffs claim Apple monopolized the market in violation of federal antitrust law by requiring that apps be sold through its App Store and extracting an excessive 30 percent commission on purchases.
Apple’s shares fell 5.8% to $185.72. The ruling came on a day when Apple shares already were trading lower because of concerns over a full-blown U.S.-China trade war.
The Cupertino, California-based technology company, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration in the case, argued that it was only acting as an agent for app developers, who set their own prices and pay Apple’s commission.
The ruling could lead to other lawsuits against tech companies that act as platforms for other products or services. Apple had warned that this could pose a threat to e-commerce, a rapidly expanding segment of the U.S. economy worth hundreds of billions of dollars in annual sales.