United States appeals court revives Apple App Store antitrust lawsuit

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Apple, in its defense, had stated that it merely acts as an "intermediary" between the app developers and iPhone owners purchasing the apps.

Well, a federal appeals court has made a decision to let app purchasers sue Apple over the issue.

A United States appeals court has revived a lawsuit that accuses Apple monopolizing the sale of iOS applications using App Store. The panel reinstated the lawsuit against Apple.

Allegations in regards to the App Store "monopoly" have yet to be heard by the courts, with the suit now able to proceed.

The decision has sent the case back to the federal trial court in Oakland for further scrutiny. In the case before us, third-party developers of iPhone apps do not have their own "stores".

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"The panel reversed the dismissal for lack of statutory standing of an antitrust complaint alleging that Apple, Inc., monopolized and attempted to monopolize the market for iPhone apps", the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said in a written ruling".

Apple is a distributor of the iPhone apps, selling them directly to purchasers through its App Store.

For its part, Apple has long argued that the policy isn't anticompetitive because it's doesn't make or own the apps found within its App Store. However if the challenge does succeed Apple will be forced to let people shop for applications wherever they want, which would open the market and help lower prices. This, however, recently changed and people can try suing Apple once more.

This case is not the tech giant's first brush with antitrust law. Other apps that led the year in downloads included Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro.The latest Kantar data shows that the iPhone's US market share grew 6.4% year-on-year in the three months ending in November of last year. iOS made gains in seven of the nine key markets monitored by the market intelligence company.