The 9th U.S. Circuit Court on January 12, 2017 decided that Apple’s practice is illegal due to restriction of competition freedom. The main reason for lawsuit is Apple’s prohibition of downloading applications from unofficial stores, which leads to higher prices in App Store. Thus, U.S. iPhone users can start litigation against Apple.
In 2012, iPhone owners submitted class action lawsuit, but Apple managed to convince court in its rightness. The company argued that it only gave rights to host apps for developers in exchange for percentage of revenues. Now the judge found that users buy applications directly from Apple, which gives them rights to make complaint.
The company has refrained from official comments.
According to Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz lawyer Mark C. Rifkin, who represents interests of users, Apple has two alternative ways in this situation. The most obvious solution would be to allow iPhone users buying apps in other stores, which would reduce prices. Otherwise, Apple would have to pay compensation for high cost, including the period when the company used its monopoly position in market.