DusseldorfThe US Supreme Court cleared the way for a class action lawsuit by Apple customers against the iPhone maker. The Washington Supreme Court upheld Monday's decision by a lower court to allow the class action lawsuit.
The Apple customers accuse the group to operate the market for iPhone apps as a monopoly and artificially inflate prices.
Apple had tried to last to prevent the lawsuit. The company believes that only app developers can sue the app store but not their users. The decision before the Supreme Court was extremely tight. With five to four votes, the US judges decided to allow the antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
Now iPhone customers can also complain about Apple's commission scheme for app developers. The Group requires 30 per cent of revenue from commissioners who sell their apps through the App Store as commission. The US Supreme Court must now clarify whether these commissions have been passed on to the iPhone customers and thus caused damage. If this is the case, Apple threatens damages.
How much this decision puts a strain on Apple shows the reaction in the financial markets. The papers of the iPhone manufacturer lost over five percent on Monday.
It is not the first antitrust lawsuit against the group. In the EU, Apple faces a lawsuit. In mid-March, the Swedish music streaming service Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission against the US company. At the beginning of May, the Commission initiated a preliminary investigation into Apple over Spotify's complaint.
Also the complaint of Spotify is directed against the commission regulation of Apple. The 30 percent app developer appeals to Spotify because the music streaming service competes directly with Apple's own service.
That's why Spotify could not compete with Apple's music streaming service. So the premium version of Spotify in the App Store cost 12.99 euros instead of the usual 9.99 euros, which also costs Apple Music. In the meantime, you can not finish the premium subscription from Spotify on the iPhone.
The EU Commission may require companies to change their business practices if they unduly restrict competition. Fines of up to ten percent of the annual turnover are also possible.
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