US: Apple App store plaintiffs push for new judge

Apple customers who say the iPhone “app store” overcharges are defending their request for a new trial judge on remand, reported Bloomberg Law.

The request comes less than two months after the US Supreme Court allowed the iPhone users to move forward with their suit in a 5-4 ruling May 13.

The high court held that the iPhone users were “direct” purchasers, not barred from seeking antitrust damages under Illinois Brick v. Illinois. Under a 41-year-old precedent, Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, “indirect purchasers,” those who purchased from an intermediary and not from the party that violated antitrust law, cannot sue an alleged monopolist and recover damages. In that case, the court said that state and local governments, which paid higher construction costs to their general contractors as a result of price fixing by cement block manufacturers, could not sue to recover damages from the price fixers. Apple’s lawyers argued that this rule should be used to deny the app buyers in Apple v. Pepper the right to sue Apple, because they, too, are only “indirect purchasers” from Apple. The “direct purchasers,” Apple says, are the app developers, to whom Apple sells app distribution services through the App Store and who pay Apple a commission on those sales.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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