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Just how much might Apple owe you for inflating the price of iPhone apps? | Los Angeles Times

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday morning that iPhone users can sue Apple for allegedly abusing its control over iPhone app sales to inflate the price of those ubiquitous nuggets of software. In doing so, however, the justices left open the vexing question of how to calculate the damage Apple inflicted on its customers.

That question appears to have been the reason the court split, with rookie Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joining the court’s four Democratic appointees in the majority. The issue before the court was whether federal antitrust law and Supreme Court precedents allow consumers to sue Apple for alleged price gouging even though Apple doesn’t set the price for the apps sold through the App Store.

But “apps sold through the App Store” is redundant, isn’t it? Apple doesn’t allow iPhone apps to be sold anywhere but its App Store; only those apps can be loaded onto an iPhone without circumventing the operating system. And circumventing the operating system not only voids the Apple warranty, it also has the potential to turn one’s extremely expensive smartphone into a non-functional monument to one’s appetite for risk.

That’s the heart of the antitrust case against Apple, and the court didn’t rule on the merits of that claim. Instead, it dealt only with Apple’s motion to have the price-gouging lawsuit brought by an iPhone user named Robert Pepper and three other consumers thrown out because they weren’t “direct purchasers” injured by the alleged monopolistic behavior.

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Just how much might Apple owe you for inflating the price of iPhone apps? – Los Angeles Times.

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