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The Supreme Court sounds open to allowing a lawsuit to go forward that claims Apple has unfairly monopolized the market for the sale of iPhone apps.
The court has heard arguments in Apple's effort to shut down an antitrust lawsuit. Chief Justice John Roberts was alone among the nine justices in seeming ready to agree with Apple.
The suit by iPhone users could force Apple to cut the 30 percent commission it charges software developers whose apps are sold exclusively through Apple's App Store. A judge could triple the compensation to consumers under antitrust law if Apple ultimately loses the suit.
Justice Stephen Breyer used to teach antitrust law at Harvard Law School. He says the consumers' case seemed straightforward.
Apple argues it's merely a pipeline between app developers and consumers.
Apple is at the Supreme Court to defend the way it sells apps for iPhones against claims by consumers that the company has unfairly monopolized the market.
The justices are hearing arguments in Apple's effort to end an antitrust lawsuit that could force the iPhone maker to cut the 30 percent commission it charges software developers whose apps are sold exclusively through Apple's App Store. A judge could triple the compensation to consumers under antitrust law if Apple ultimately loses the lawsuit.
Apple says it doesn't own the apps or sell them. That's the responsibility of software developers.
But the suit says the Cupertino, California-based company exerts control over the process, including a requirement that prices end in 99 cents. And iPhone apps are only available through the App Store.