Apple is facing a possible class action lawsuit for how it handled the iPhone Appstore between 2007 and 2013. The suit, which was originally filed in 2011, claims that Apple used its control over the Appstore to maintain a monopoly and acted against the best interests of consumers.
The suit alleges that Apple broke US antitrust laws by forcing developers to only sell apps through the Appstore. It also requires developers to turn over 30 percent of all sales, while also excluding apps from competitors.
A lower court had earlier accepted Apple’s argument that it does not sell apps, but instead only provides a distribution platform for developers and dismissed the suit. However, a federal court has found that the dismissal was wrong; and that Apple actually does sell apps; which makes Appstore users “direct consumers” of the company.
For now, the suit does not have class-action status; although it is very likely to be granted in this case. A lawyer for the plaintiffs also believes that the scope can be expanded to include all US citizens who have ever bought an app from the Appstore.