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Supreme Court To Hear Antitrust Case Against Apple

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will hear arguments in an antitrust case against Apple.

The U.S.-based tech giant is reportedly asking the nation’s highest court to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that Apple is violating federal antitrust laws by inflating prices on apps through a purported monopoly of the software. Specifically, since prospective apps have to go through Apple to get into its proprietary App Store, the plaintiff argues that Apple is able to charge extortionate prices.

The suit, Apple v. Pepper, may gain class action status, meaning Apple could potentially be liable for paying millions of dollars in penalties and compensation, according to a Bloomberg report. A federal judge in Oakland, Calif., originally threw out the suit, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in 2017 that the litigation was legitimate and could move forward.

Apple is supported by the Trump administration, which filed an Amicus Brief in May in an attempt to reverse the court of appeals’ decision through the Supreme Court. (RELATED: Report: Apple Used An Obscure Island To Avoid Billions In Taxes)

“The Ninth Circuit is home to a disproportionate share of the Nation’s e-commerce companies, and its erroneous decision creates uncertainty and a lack of uniformity about the proper application of Section 4 [of the Clayton Act] to this increasingly common business model,” the brief reads.

Apple claims that it has cultivated competition through the growth of its App store. It said app developers earned more than $20 billion in 2017 because of the App Store, a 30 percent uptick from the year prior.

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