Apple v. Pepper: This is what makes it interesting

Does Apple have monopoly control of the App Store? Of course it does. That's not what this case is about.

From Supreme Court to review Apple app store commissions case in the Financial Times ($):

The case is a key test of how antitrust rules can be applied to online marketplaces operated by tech companies including eBay, Amazon’s Marketplace division, secondary ticketing site StubHub and Google Play, the app store for Android smartphones.

“The stakes for antitrust law are quite significant,” said Mark Lemley, professor at Stanford Law School. “The court has an opportunity to revisit the rule that prevents end customers — the people antitrust law is supposed to benefit — from suing to enforce the law. While Apple wants to make it even harder for customers to sue, most antitrust scholars think it should be easier.”

My take: I love that the arguments revolve around a 40-year-old decision called Illinois Brick. SCOTUSblog has the docs. The Justice Department filed a well-constructed friend-of-the-court brief supporting Apple. Whatever your thoughts on the merits of the case, you can take comfort in the fact that some parts of the government are still functioning.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    Whether it is easier to file, or not, may be the result of SCOTUS’ decision, I don’t think that is near as important as any rulings on the merits of the suit.

    On the merits I do not see SCOTUS ruling in favor of plaintiffs.

    June 19, 2018
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Let’s look at the two end points, the App developers and the consumers. Both can choose Android. And both can choose the jail-broken approach.

    If you want global support, free upgrades of your phone”s software, the most secure mobile OS, the most secure marketplace for Apps, Apps that are curated to be safe for your children, and if you’re an App developer some protection against copy-cat Apps, then there’s only one choice.

    Can you buy a Big Mac at Wendy’s?

    Can you get Mickey to shake your hand at Water World?

    BTW: 30% for channel is cheap.

    June 19, 2018
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:
      Mickey™ is likely overpaid, he has no direct competition and Disney is forced to pass the cost of his supracompetitive salary on to visitors. There might be lawsuit in there somewhere.

      June 19, 2018

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