When iPhone users want to edit blemishes out of their selfies, identify stars and constellations or simply join the latest video game craze, they turn to Apple Inc’s App Store, where any software application they buy also includes a 30% cut for Apple.
That commission is a key issue in a closely watched antitrust case that will reach the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The nine justices will hear arguments in Apple’s bid to escape damages in a lawsuit accusing it of breaking federal antitrust laws by monopolizing the market for iPhone apps and causing consumers to pay more than they should.
The justices will ultimately decide a broader question: can consumers even sue for damages in an antitrust case like this one?
Apple, which is appealing a lower court decision that revived the proposed consumer class-action lawsuit, says no, citing a decades-old Supreme Court precedent.
The plaintiffs said that if the court closes its doors to consumers, monopolistic conduct could expand unchecked.