Cydia, the original App Store, files antitrust claim against Apple

Apple is facing yet another antitrust claim against it. This time around, though, it’s from one of the company’s oldest “competitors”.

If you’ll recall, Cydia launched an app store for iOS devices back in 2008, even before Apple got around to making one of its own. Of course, Apple’s option, the App Store, has become wildly successful over the years, and, as Cydia claims, it helped Apple to “nearly destroy” Cydia’s option, and Cydia itself. Cydia is now officially suing Apple over antitrust grounds, claiming Apple is exercising its monopoly over software distribution on iOS to crush the competition (per The Washington Post).

Were it not for Apple’s anticompetitive acquisition and maintenance of an illegal monopoly over iOS app distribution, users today would actually be able to choose how and where to locate and obtain iOS apps, and developers would be able to use the iOS app distributor of their choice,” the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Northern California and Cydia is represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan.

Of course, Apple has denied that it is a monopoly. Company spokesperson Fred Sainz informed the original publication that the company is looking over the lawsuit, and notes that Apple is competing with Android in the smartphone market and app distribution.

Still, Cydia says that people who buy iPhones, even if it is an iPhone, should be able to do whatever they want with it. Because they own it, and Apple’s dictation of the rules after the fact are not fair, especially to competing companies.

And Cydia, unlike Epic Games or Spotify or any other company filing antitrust cases against Apple, may have some ground to stand on. Cydia itself is a direct competitor to Apple, offering up its own digital storefront similar to Apple’s. This is an obvious and direct example of what competition would look like on iOS, and may show that Apple is strange holding options for customers.

It will be interesting to see what happens next, to be sure.