Apple dodges App Store antitrust complaint--for now

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A U.S. District Judge has dismissed an antitrust complaint against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) alleging that its App Store maintains a monopoly over iOS application distribution, although plaintiffs plan to re-file their case.

The suit, originally filed in 2011, claims that Apple has built a monopoly for iPhone and iPad applications by limiting downloads and purchases to the App Store, requiring iOS developer partners to share 30 percent of all App Store revenues and excluding competitors from the iPhone software "aftermarket." But Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, Calif., tossed out the suit Thursday, ruling that the consumers behind the complaint are not in a legal position to bring the suit because they never actually purchased the apps in question.

The plaintiffs failed to prove "collective allegations that they have been deprived of lower cost alternatives, paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications, or had their iPhones disabled or destroyed," Rogers wrote. "At a minimum, plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple's alleged conduct."

Alexander Schmidt, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told Reuters he'll have "no difficulty" re-filing the case to meet Rogers; requirements. "We can add the extra detail very easily" to advance the argument the App Store has "cornered the distribution market for software for the iPhone," Schmidt said.

Consumers have downloaded more than 50 billion iOS applications from the App Store since the digital storefront opened for business in 2008. Third-party developers have raked in more than $11 billion through App Store sales.

For more:
- read this Reuters article

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