The U.S. Supreme Court has requested the White House and the Trump Administration weigh in on whether it should hear Apple’s arguments as the company aims to avoid a class action lawsuit.
According to the Reuters report, the case involves allegations that Apple inflated consumer prices by charging high commissions on iPhone software sales via its App Store. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether it should take up Apple’s appeal of a ruling by a lower court that allowed the class action lawsuit to move ahead, Reuters noted.
Apple contends the case should be tossed out because app developers — not consumers — should be allowed to bring lawsuits like this to the courts. Reuters noted the Cupertino, California-based technology powerhouse charges a 30 percent commission to app developers on purchases in the App Store made by consumers. The report also said the Justice Department plans to give the Supreme Court its opinion on the case.
While the case dates back to 2011, it could have major implications, particularly for electronic commerce, which Reuters reported has seen huge growth. In fact, the market saw $390 billion in sales last year.
The lawsuit was filed by several Californian iPhone buyers alleging Apple has monopolized sales of apps resulting in high prices. While Apple says such consumers have no right to sue because they weren’t charged the commission, consumers contend the amount they paid for the apps included the commission or what the lawsuit calls a “monopolistic surcharge.”
The lawsuit is still up in the air, but one thing is for sure: Apple has done brisk business selling mobile apps since 2011. Mobile apps available for purchase or download through Apple’s App Store are expected to double in size and surpass 5 million by 2020, according to recent data released by app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. According to Sensor Tower, the App Store is expected to boast approximately 2.93 million apps by the end of 2016, 3.60 million in 2017, 4.18 million in 2018, 4.67 million in 2019 and 5.06 million by 2020.