RadioOnFire.com - A group of iPhone owners accusing Apple of violating US antitrust rules because of its App Store monopoly can sue the company, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the majority opinion, said that when "retailers engage in unlawful anticompetitive conduct that harms consumers," people buying those companies' products have the right to hold the businesses to account.
"That is why we have antitrust law," Kavanaugh wrote. The court's four liberal justices joined Kavanaugh in the 5-4 decision.
The Supreme Court opinion notably does not accuse Apple of violating antitrust law: It holds that consumers have the right to sue the company for monopolistic behavior, because they purchase apps directly from Apple.
The ruling could have wide implications for other tech companies that operate similarly walled-off online storefronts, said Gene Kimmelman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge and a former Justice Department antitrust official.
"It definitely should make tech companies wonder how the antitrust laws will be applied going forward in an online platform environment," said Kimmelman.
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