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US Supreme Court to hear anti-trust case accusing Apple of monopolizing iPhone app market

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which began in 2011, argue that Apple unfairly controls the way the app market works

Apple iPhone screen
The case has the potential to set a precedent for other e-commerce companies

Apple’s appeal (NASDAQ:AAPL) against an anti-trust lawsuit that accuses it of unfairly monopolizing the iPhone app market is heading to the US Supreme Court, per published media reports.

The justices have agreed to hear Apple’s case to throw out a class-action lawsuit, which takes aim at the iPhone maker for squelching competition by approving only those apps which are developed to be sold exclusively through its App store.

The plaintiffs argue that Apple unfairly controls the way the app market works in order to charge “excessive” commissions of as much as 30%, according to a Bloomberg report.

The case has the potential to set a precedent that could result in the slapping of damages against an array of e-commerce companies with businesses that work similarly to Apple’s App store.

READ: Apple inks content deal with Oprah Winfrey

The suit against Apple began back in 2011, according to Reuters, when iPhone buyers in a California federal court, led by lead plaintiff Robert Pepper, accused Apple of unfairly controlling the sale of games and other apps via its App store and jacking up their prices.

While app manufacturers establish the prices of their apps, Apple charges these companies a 30% commission on each purchase and accepts payments from its iPhone users, according to Reuters.

The Supreme Court will hear Apple versus Pepper sometime during its next term, which kicks off in October.

Apple shares were flat at US$188.91 in morning trade today.

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