updated 10:47 am EST, Wed March 6, 2013
Claims nothing wrong with 'creating a system that is closed in a sense'
Apple has asked a US District Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it has a monopoly over iOS apps, Bloomberg reports. The case dates back to 2011, when the seven plaintiffs complained that people who don't want to pay what developers are charging for apps at the App Store don't have a legal alternative. The plaintiffs also argue that Apple's mandatory 30 percent cut of app revenues raises prices, and excludes competitors from the app aftermarket.
At a Tuesday court hearing, Apple contended that it doesn't set the prices for apps, and that charging for distribution of a product on a new and unique platform doesn't break antitrust laws. "There's nothing illegal about creating a system that is closed in a sense," said Apple attorney Dan Wall. That view was countered by one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, Alexander Schmidt. "Can a consumer go somewhere else to buy Angry Birds for the iPhone? If the answer is no, then Apple is a monopolist," he said.
Presiding over the matter is US District Judge Yvonne Rogers. Rogers is also handling another, separate antitrust suit against Apple, involving iTunes music downloads. That case may face an uphill battle, as while the App Store is the only way of getting iOS apps, music can be bought from a number of sources, even if Apple has a store integrated into iTunes.