The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Apple’s appeal on an App Store monopoly case. The appeal is on whether or not the case can proceed, and if SCOTUS allows that, it could decide if companies are allowed to maintain walled gardens for app distribution.

Monopoly

The original case was brought by plaintiffs in 2011 accusing Apple of maintaining a monopoly on App Store. The class action attorneys bringing the case Plaintiffs argue that Apple’s chokehold on iOS app distribution leads to higher prices because Apple demands a 30% cut from each sale.

A lower court dismissed the case, but an appellate court reversed that decision, allowing the case to proceed. Apple appealed that decision, which is what SCOTUS agreed to hear.

According to MSN, Apple’s brief argued, “presents issues of national importance given the increasing prevalence of electronic commerce and the agency sales model.”

Interestingly, the current U.S.Department of Justice (DOJ) backed Apple on this case. It was the DOJ under the Obama administration that took Apple to court over the agency model in the iBooks Store. The DOJ won that case, too.

SCOTUS will hear the new case later this year.

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John Kheit

Importantly, the case was decided in the 9th circuit, aka, the “we like to make sure we get it more wrong than any other” circuit court. Then again, the supreme court has managed to get almost every single tech case they get wrong…I think I have to go back to the Sony betacam case that allowed us to video tape/time-shift ruling. So don’t underestimate the supremes supreme ability to get this wrong. The notion that apple with it’s minor share in smart phones can in anyway have monopoly power to abuse is as absurd as claiming Bryan has a monopoly… Read more »