Supreme Court rules against Apple in App Store monopoly case

Design mockup of Dark Mode in iOS 13

Apple keeps 30% of the sales price, where it is set, Kavanaugh said in a summary he read from the bench.

The lawsuit has been underway since 2011 and is nowhere close to resolution.

At the heart of the complaint is the so-called "Apple tax", a 30% fee on apps in the App Store that has also prompted a complaint to the European Commission by streaming music rival Spotify.

And because Apple doesn't allow app makers to distribute iPhone apps any other way, this behavior is doubly injurious as iPhone users have no other choices.

Today's Supreme Court ruling doesn't decide the larger question of whether Apple actually is abusing its control over the App Store to overcharge customers.

The thing is, Apple's older phones hold their value incredibly well and even when they're discontinued by Apple, they still are sold by third-party vendors in relatively high numbers, so the Cupertino brand would be making life hard for itself by dropping the iPhone 6 (which was one of the most popular iPhones yet).

"We are extremely disappointed in the decision from the US Supreme Court to reward trial lawyers rather than developers", Reed said.

Apple argued that the same logic applies to its App Store.

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We have reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story with any response.

Apple argued that the iPhone owners do not have the right to sue because Apple is an intermediary.

If a new report is anything to go by, Apple is getting ready to abandon a series of older iPhones with the release of iOS 13 the next September.

It might be too big a jump for it to get the same treatment again this year, and if Apple wants to push more power-hungry features like augmented reality, then it'll need to jettison the dead weight holding it back.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the liberal justices in the majority.

"It is undisputed that that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple", Kavanaugh wrote. Apple's pushback brought the matter to the Supreme Court, though only to decide whether the case can continue, not its final outcome.

The legal setback for Apple comes as investors are looking to the company's services business, including its App Store, to fuel growth as iPhone sales slow. Hence, if Apple was abusing its market power, only developers could sue.

"Ever since Congress overwhelmingly passed and President Benjamin Harrison signed the Sherman Act in 1890, "protecting consumers from monopoly prices" has been 'the central concern of antitrust, ' " Kavanaugh wrote in the majority opinion. Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the dissent. The decision in a 1977 case called Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois allows only direct purchasers of a product to file suits in federal court claiming violations of antitrust laws.

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