The US Supreme Court affirms the right of app purchasers to sue app company for monopolization under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick as a rule of contractual privity rather than rule of proximate cause (Apple / Pepper)

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In Apple Inc. v. Pepper, a 5-4 Supreme Court affirmed the right of app purchasers under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois to sue Apple, Inc., for monopolizing the retail market for iPhone apps based upon an alleged overcharge levied upon app developers. The discrepancy between the identity of plaintiffs—the app users—and the direct payers of the alleged monopoly overcharge—the app developers—caused much controversy within the antitrust bar as to the application of the Illinois Brick indirect-purchaser rule. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the majority, resolved that controversy in favor of plaintiffs by interpreting Illinois Brick as a rule of contractual privity. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the dissent, argued that Illinois Brick rests on

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Authors

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)

Quotation

Michelle Polizzano, Timothy G. Fleming, William H. Rooney, The US Supreme Court affirms the right of app purchasers to sue app company for monopolization under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick as a rule of contractual privity rather than rule of proximate cause (Apple / Pepper), 13 May 2019, e-Competitions May 2019, Art. N° 96832

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