May 13, 2019
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday allowed an enormous antitrust class action against Apple to move forward, saying that the plaintiffs should be allowed to try to prove that the technology giant had used monopoly power to raise the prices of iPhone apps.
The lawsuit is in its early stages, and it must overcome other legal hurdles. But successful antitrust plaintiffs are entitled to triple damages, meaning Apple’s exposure could be significant.
Apple charges a 30 percent commission to software developers who sell their products through its App Store, bars developers from selling their apps elsewhere and plays a role in setting prices by requiring them to end in 99 cents.
The App Store has been extraordinarily successful. It features more than two million apps, Apple told the court, and generated payments to developers in 2017 of more than $26 billion.
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