U.S. Appeals Court says group can sue Apple over App Store "monopoly"

A U.S Appeals Court has revived a 2012 lawsuit brought by number iPhone owners against Apple. The suit alleges that Apple has created an illegal monopoly by only allowing customers to install software purchased from the company's own App Store on their iPhones.

Apple had argued that users did not have standing to sue it because they purchased apps from developers, with Apple simply renting out space to those developers. Developers pay a cut of their revenues to Apple in exchange for the right to sell in the App Store.

A lower court sided with Apple, but Judge William A. Fletcher ruled that iPhone users purchase apps directly from Apple, which gives iPhone users the right to bring a legal challenge against Apple.

It seems odd to claim that the App Store has kept prices too high when many apps, if not most, are available for free, or for the low price of $0.99.

The case, Pepper et al v. Apple Inc., is for the U.S. District Court for Northern California. Should the case succeed, the plaintiff's aim either to compel Apple to pay damages or to allow customers to purchase and download apps from outside of the App Store, with the latter option requiring work on Apple's part to allow iOS to run non-App Store third-party software out of the box.