Apple goes to court defending App Store commission practices

Apple will appear before the Supreme Court over the commissions it takes on purchases in its App Store. The court will hear arguments today in an antitrust lawsuit about Apple’s 30% commission charged to software developers. The plaintiffs claim the charges present an unfair monopoly that gives Apple too much control over the app market.

Apple’s policies have created some unusual pricing structures for music streaming platforms. Many companies that make their subscriptions available through the App Store pass the fee on to listeners by charging more than the usual rates for transactions made on their iOS apps. The court’s decision could have an immediate impact on whether music companies continue that practice.

In the longer term, the case has additional implications for antitrust lawsuits. Since the app developers are the ones bringing the case rather than any consumer group, a ruling against Apple would set a precedent that could mean more options for who can successfully bring an antitrust case to court.

Anna Washenko