Apple Escapes Monopoly Prosecution On App Store

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Apple won a major court victory in the United States on Tuesday (30), after escaping a lawsuit in which it was accused of monopolizing the distribution of apps on iOS. According to the judge in the case, the rejection of the action is due to the lack of convincing arguments from those who questioned the owner of the iPhone.

Led by the developers of the Coronavirus Reporter app, not approved by the company, the lawsuit asked for a court order to prevent the Cupertino giant from rejecting certain apps in the official iOS store. They also wanted an end to the App Store annual fee, currently $99.

However, US District Judge Edward Chen denied the preliminary injunction, claiming that the plaintiffs could not identify which market Apple was exercising a monopoly on. In the process, developers cited several markets, such as mobile, institutional apps and app distribution for smartphones, among others.

According to Chen, such market definitions were not clear and therefore the action was not approved. He also argued that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence of how App Store ratings would have suppressed certain apps, resulting in a lack of evidence to justify opening an antitrust case.

New try

By refusing to distribute Coronavirus Reporter, Apple said at the time that it only allowed covid-19-related apps developed by official government health sources, trusted medical and educational institutions. But for the tool’s owners, the ban served to benefit strategic partners and large institutions.

Although the judge did not agree with this argument, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said he will appeal the decision, trying again to initiate the action. Meanwhile, big tech can use the decision as support in other similar cases, such as in the Epic Games lawsuit.