A US federal judge said tens of millions of Apple ecosystem users could file a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of monopolizing the iPhone app market by prohibiting transactions outside the App Store, driving up prices on the platform.
In March 2022, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected the class action, but changed her mind after the group of plaintiffs was reduced to just Apple account holders who spent $10 or more on apps or in-app content. . While remaining “concerned” that even after the decline, plaintiffs could still include more than 10 million accounts that were not affected, or 7.9% of the total, the judge said the number of plaintiffs could be reduced, but there is a fixed “limit” for There is no denial of qualifications. The judge also rejected Apple’s bid to exclude testimony from two expert witnesses, including Nobel laureate Daniel McFadden, about how Apple’s conditions could have harmed consumers.
Consumer lawyer Mark Rifkin said he was “extremely pleased” and looked forward to a new chapter in the 12-year-old antitrust case. He estimates that the victims suffered “billions of dollars in damage.” Class actions can sometimes allow you to obtain greater recovery at a lower cost than litigating individually.
Judge Gonzalez-Rogers presided over the case brought by game publisher Epic Games against Apple. In 2021, she ordered Apple to ease restrictions, but did not force it to allow applications to be downloaded from sources outside the App Store. In April 2023, an appeals court upheld most of the decision, and in January 2024, the country’s Supreme Court refused to intervene.