On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that private claims under the federal antitrust laws cannot be brought by "indirect purchasers" who did not purchase goods or services directly from the alleged anticompetitive actor(s), an important and longstanding constraint on treble damages claims. In Apple v. Pepper, the Court permitted a putative class of iPhone owners to proceed with their claims that Apple monopolized the aftermarket for iPhone applications ("apps"), allegedly allowing Apple to charge supracompetitive commissions on apps sold through its App Store. Yet in so doing, the Court held by a 5-4 vote that the iPhone owners' claims were not barred by the "direct purchaser" rule first articulated in the Court's Illinois Brick decision, because the iPhone owners
The US Supreme court reaffirms the "direct purchaser" rule for private claims under federal antitrust laws but also allows for monopolization claims against a mobile app store owner (Apple / Pepper)
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