Minami Tamaki is investigating allegations that Apple is monopolizing the market for the distribution of applications that run on its operating system.
Consumers and developers have complained that Apple’s app store is the only place to sell and buy apps that run on the company’s mobile devices, and accuse Apple of using its dominance in the market to control pricing.
Some developers allege that Apple takes excessive commissions, charges exorbitant fees for distribution services, and sets pricing mandates that negatively impact developers’ profits.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that app users have standing to pursue claims against Apple for alleged overcharges. The justices rejected Apple’s arguments that the consumers should be considered “indirect purchasers” barred from suing for violations of federal antitrust law under the high court’s ruling in the seminal case of Illinois Brick v. Illinois.
In March 2019, music streaming service Spotify complained to the European Commission that Apple’s app store terms allow the company to give Apple’s streaming service an unfair advantage over rival services. Spotify also argued that Apple’s commission system and restrictions on apps that use non-Apple payment systems purposely limit choice at the expense of user experience.
Monopolization of the market for apps could significantly reduce developer earnings below what they would be in a competitive market, while also dampening innovation.
Minami Tamaki attorneys have experience representing individuals who have been harmed by antitrust violations. App developers who are interested in learning more about our investigation may contact us online or call us at 415-788-9000 to set up a free consultation.