Is Apple’s App Store a mall or the equivalent of a sole proprietor shop selling unique wares?
That question appears to be at the heart of a now revived lawsuit against Apple, Pepper et al v. Apple Inc. In it, a group of plaintiffs claim that Apple’s insistence on selling all iPhone apps through the App Store and not allowing developers to sell iOS apps through other channels, like third-party app stores or directly from the developers themselves, is anti-competitive and artificially inflating prices.
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The lawsuit is almost five years old and, according to sources, was dismissed so early on in the legal process that the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, which agrees with the plaintiffs, is still a procedural one. It only leaves the door open for the lawsuit to again move forward, without positioning it for a court battle, at least not yet. Read more…