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Antitrust suit alleging App Store monopoly tossed due to procedural blunder

A lawsuit claiming Apple has a monopoly over apps sold through the iTunes App Store was thrown out on Thursday, with plaintiffs found to lack grounds for complaint as they had never purchased the apps in question.

App Store

The procedural misstep, which prompted U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to grant Apple's motion to dismiss the case, will likely be only a brief respite as the complaint can simply be amended and refiled, reports Bloomberg.

Plaintiffs did not prove “collective allegations that they have been deprived of lower cost alternatives, paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications, or had their iPhones disabled or destroyed," Judge Gonzales said in her order. "At a minimum, plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple’s alleged conduct.”

The suit was first leveled against in 2011 and accuses Apple of conducting monopolistic practices by creating an ecosystem in which apps are only available through the App Store. Further, Apple's 30 percent cut of each sale inflates the price of apps, while the company disallows competition in the way of third-party alternatives.

In its March motion to dismiss, Apple pointed out that it does not set prices for apps sold through the App Store, nor are there laws against charging a percentage of proceeds for distribution.

Despite Thursday's setback, lawyer for the plaintiffs Alexander Schmidt said the judge's requirements are easily met, suggesting the group will refile in the near future.