On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major antitrust decision in Apple v. Pepper, which could have far-reaching implications for retailers and platforms accused of monopolistic conduct. For example, the case increases the risk that any online marketplace with exclusive rights to carry products made and owned by others will not have a defense under the Illinois Brick “indirect purchaser” doctrine—particularly where the marketplace collects payment from buyers and then charges the product owners a fee or commission. The risks are even higher if the marketplace is alleged to have high market share or monopoly power. The plaintiffs in Apple are iPhone owners who purchased, through Apple’s App Store, iPhone applications (“apps”) made by third-party developers. The plaintiffs allege
The US Supreme Court increases the risk that online marketplaces with exclusive rights to third-party products will not have a defense under the “indirect purchaser” doctrine (Apple / Pepper)
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