The Supreme Court on Monday said that iPhone users can proceed with a class-action lawsuit against Apple over its control of app sales in a ruling that could threaten the company’s exclusive marketplace of third-party software.
A group of consumers had sued Apple, claiming that the company’s monopoly over its App Store led to inflated app prices. Apple disputed the legality of the suit, arguing the consumers had no standing to sue the company because it merely operated the App Store as an intermediary between users and the developers who make and sell apps.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion for the 5-4 decision, surprising many by breaking with his conservative colleagues and siding with the court’s liberal justices.
The Supreme Court had ruled in 1977 in a case called Illinois Brick that only “direct purchasers” of products have standing to bring antitrust lawsuits. In his decision, Kavanaugh rejected Apple’s argument that it was the app developers, and not the company operating the App Store, that sold the programs directly to users.
Read more at The Hill.