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Is Apple operating a monopoly? That’s the question before an Oakland, California judge. Tuesday, the iPhone and iPad maker urged the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed in 2011, alleging the company runs a monopoly by offering apps for the smartphone only on the App Store. Apple underscores it doesn’t set prices for third-party software and argues charging developers 30 percent to distribute items for iPhones, iPods and iPads on its App Store does not violate antitrust laws…

Apple attorney Dan Wall told U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (via Bloomberg) that “there’s nothing illegal about creating a system that is closed in a sense.”

Alexander Schmidt, attorney for the seven plaintiffs, asked whether Angry Birds for the iPhone is available anywhere other than the App Store.

Can a consumer go somewhere else to buy Angry Birds for the iPhone? If the answer is no, then Apple is a monopolist.

Rogers gave no hint during yesterday’s hearing when she would rule on Apple’s request.

This lawsuit is not the only time Apple is defending itself against claims of monopolistic behavior. In court proceedings before the same federal judge, Apple is also defending itself against claims it is operating a digital music monopoly by selling songs on its iTunes Store.

Apple’s online-only content store since January 2009 has been carrying songs that are no longer copy-protected, meaning buyers can easily transfer iTunes tracks to their non-Apple devices.

The U.S. government is also charging Apple with price fixing when it comes to digital books, a procedure aimed at undercutting online ebook seller Amazon,com, according to government allegations.

  • What Apple meant to do, sell the on google play… On in a droid user dream could that ever happen.

    • I think what they’re going for is along the lines of on Android you can install from the Play Store and the Amazon AppStore, or just install it yourself, while on iOS you can only do that ONLY in the AppStore.

      Frankly it’s stupid and a waste of time, because then they’d have to go after Microsoft for only allowing Windows RT or Windows Phone 8 to download from the Windows Market. This is the way systems work, and we all know this.

      • genXhippie

        Just because certain systems work that way, doesn’t make it surely acceptable , nor right imo

      • I never said it was right, but this is how systems have worked since they were invented. Just think, you used to have to install software from hard discs, floppy discs, or jump drives ONLY.

  • Does apple sell monopoly games in appstore?

    • Boss

      yes you’ve got to play for the game and from the reviews it’s got the game it full with adds

      • Jimothy

        Yeah, that part REALLY annoys me. I paid for the app, why should I have to view ads?

  • “Can a consumer go somewhere else to buy Angry Birds for the iPhone? If the answer is no, then Apple is a monopolist.”

    #logicfail

    • smtp25

      Nope it is logical conclusion and correct. You can get angry birds multiple places but for iPhone from the AppStore only.

      They are forcing anyone who wants to sell their iPhone apps to do so through AppStore.

      I personally don’t care though, I like the one stop shop and prices are still low too 99c+

      • I still disagree – because it shouldn’t be about buying angry birds for the iphone, it should be about angry birds period – if you want to play angry birds, you have many options. if you CHOOSE to buy an apple device, then yes – you are then “choosing” to play angry birds via the app store. there is no monopoly. How is this different than buying a sprint iPhone, then getting upset you can’t use the phone on verizon? you walk into the situation knowing your choices will be limited.

        but that’s beside the bigger point, which is, mobile games in no way represent a necessity. I could see the argument being made for wireless carriers, utility/cable companies, etc, but mobile games? So what if there was a monopoly – they are a want, not a need. If you’re unhappy about the price/availability because of a supposed “monopoly”, simply don’t buy the game. we are not entitled to play (enter game of choice).

  • If Apple is a monopoly then its only fair to say Google/Samsung is.

    • Tr1pTr0p

      What software is used to sync data between an iDevice and a computer? Only iTunes. How can you download additional applications? Only iTunes / AppStore. That is the definition of monopoly. Is that the case with Google/Samsung?

      • Evad3_Me

        Actually. Xillisoft iPhone Transfer for Mac & iFunBox to name a few are able to sync data. iTunes is used to sync data because it’s easy, fast, and does not require too much knowledge.. that’s why iTunes is default in Mac OS X. Also it’s good that you can download apps from only one place (makes everything easy and quick). It reduces piracy which is very high on Android due to you being able to install apps from anywhere. It’s really not a monopoly. They’re just playing it safe..

      • Its monopoly if there is no other place to go. Let’s consider if Apple want to increase commission on app sales from 30% to 50%. What app developers can do? Can they go some place else to sell their iphone/ipad apps? No. They cannot. And that’s what monopoly is.

    • Actually Google/Samsung is not monopoly in this particular case. You can buy Android Apps from several places other then Google Play Store. You can buy Android apps from Play Store, Amazon App Store, Samsung App store, Handango Store, Appbrain App store, Appitalism app store.. etc etc. There are like 20 different locations to buy these apps. If you can buy same app from a dozen of location then how could it be monopoly.Can you say same for Apple app store?

  • Pass GO and collect 200 Billion! Go Apple!

  • If you don’t like it don’t get a iDevice .. This stops apps that can crash your device and freeze it up ..you know just like android does.. Oh how we all want that..it’s a closed system for a reason and it works ..
    Ok a jailbreak is a way round this but Apple fix these holes to stop this .. Maybe there should be 2 OS’s one closed and one open to allow you to install what you want to like a other App Store that’s not run by Apple.. Oh we got that its Cydia.. Just give us the 2 OS’s one open one closed

    • Even charge for the open one say £5.00, not everyone wants a jailbroken device but 14 million on the last jailbreak.. Apple can not say no to that sort of cash..can they..?

    • Yes agreed. I’m really getting sick of fixing PC’s flooded with malware and viruses. I rarely see Macs come my way with these issues. Keep it locked down Apple.

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    So, I can only eat a big mac in McDonalds, so…. McDonalds is a monopoly….

    • It’s a monopoly if you are only allowed to purchase using mccoins.

      • Ignacio Irigoyen

        Do you pay with iCoins in app store

    • Your logic isn’t right on this. The BigMac is a McDonald’s invention/recipe, they can choose to do what they please with their own product. Whereas Apple are forcing third-party developers (not Apple’s product/apps) to go through their AppStore/iTunes to sell their apps while they collect a $ cut in the process.

      To use your exemple of McDonald. It would be like if McDonald are using a third-party product (Ex: a soda company) and forcing that company to sale their product only at McDonald so that McDonald could always have $ cut from each soda sold. Now you’re probably saying, that’s just dumb on the soda company’s part. But that’s is basically what is going on for developers. The difference is one is digital product, and the other is a physical product, we tend to ignore some little things here and there when it come to digital stuff.

      So in other word Apple are saying to third-party developers “pay me to help me make my product better or else go away.”

      • Ignacio Irigoyen

        I was following the reasonig that was given agains Apple as it was written, but you improve it. But what bothers me it’s that lot of other heavy players do this when they have exlusive rights to sell something and no one complains

      • no. you got it all wrong. it is like saying that someone makes a time machine and asking people if they want to build tools for it.

      • Yes and then limiting them to sale their tools through the company that invented the time machine’s store only, and taking a %/$ cut of the tools creator’s profit in the process.

      • whats wrong with that

  • But those don’t work on Apple products. That’s the argument that’s being made.

  • TheAsianDVD

    My Government teacher said she used to work for a law firm that works to settle lawsuits between ad companies and she said she was getting a great pay. She left that job to teach high school kids about government because she said it was too stressful and now she’s being paid less. The entire class broke out laughing 😀
    [Insert True Story meme here]

    • smtp25

      Was the a point here some where. Lesser jobs pay lesser money

      • TheAsianDVD

        Yes and how much stress these lawyers are under to win their cases

      • smtp25

        Don’t cry for the lawyers they are doing just fine out of all of this 🙂

      • TheAsianDVD

        I’m just saying she said that was more stressful than teaching a bunch of wild high school kids about how the government works. But you are right, they are doing fine especially with the amount of money they are being paid. 😀

  • if you care enough to read, it’s about Angry Birds for the iPhone. Not Angry Birds for other platforms.