Is Apple's App Store An Illegal Monopoly?

Happy Cyber Monday!  While many of us will be shopping online today for savings, this story seems timely.  Have you ever thought, when purchasing an app through Apple's app store, that the store is an illegal monopoly?  A group of consumers is asking a court to rule.

A lawsuit against Apple seeks to change the way phone apps are handled and how much we pay.

Apple is going to have to defend how it charges app developers before the U.S. Supreme Court. Is the App Store a monopoly? That’d what will be answered as arguments are scheduled for today in the case of how the tech company charges developers to sell apps for its iPhones.

Currently, Apple gets a 30-percent slice of every app sold. Apple is claiming it is a middle man between developers and customers, and therefore not at risk of any antitrust laws for overcharging. Lawyers on the other side are claiming customers are purchasing from Apple's App Store, and that means they can be sued under antitrust laws. The app market continues to grow. Apple made 82-billion dollars from its app sales in 2017.

The suit was brought by a group of iPhone customers.

I'm skeptical.  Yes, I know that as an Apple customer, I purchase my apps through their app store.  But I also know that folks who have other types of phones go through another app store.  At first blush, this lawsuit seems to benefit the developers with little benefit for consumers.

What do you think?


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