Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court on Monday, penning an opinion against Apple that ruled the tech company can be sued over high prices in their App Store.
The case, Apple v. Pepper, was brought by iPhone users who complained that the App Store is the only place where iPhone apps are available and that, as a result, Apple has a monopoly on “the iPhone apps aftermarket.” They claim prices are consequently high stemming from the charges Apple imposes on app developers.
Translation from the legalese:
A district court decision had said that the iPhone users did not have standing to bring their antitrust claim because the developers — not Apple — are the ones selling the apps. Court precedent says that indirect purchasers who are at least two steps removed in a distribution chain cannot sue. Apple also claimed that because they don’t set the retail price of the apps on the store, iPhone users cannot sue them.
The Ninth Circuit, however, said that Apple is indeed the seller, through their App Store. Kavanaugh agreed, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Did we just go through another Mandela Effect reality shift? Because for once, I agree with the Ninth Circuit.
So does Justice Dredd:
“It is undisputed that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple,” Kavanaugh wrote. He also addressed Apple’s claim that they do not set app prices by pointing out that the company’s practice of charging app developers $99 per year plus 30 percent of sales indeed affects pricing.
“In the retail context, the price charged by a retailer to a consumer is often a result (at least in part) of the price charged by the manufacturer or supplier to the retailer, or of negotiations between the manufacturer or supplier and the retailer,” Kavanaugh said.
Here’s Kavanaugh applying what used to be textbook Conservative economic doctrine. Corporations don’t pay extra costs and fees. Consumers do.
Meanwhile, Trump’s other SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch sides with the other Conservative justices, who are suddenly singing the “muh private megacorp!” chorus with the National Review crowd.
Others have said it, and I concur. The GOP is embroiled in an internal fight for its soul. It’s the Ben “You’re promised nothing but adventure” Shapiro vs. the Tucker “We won’t abandon the graves of our grandfathers” Carlson factions in a brawl for all the marbles.
Coach K. just struck a mighty blow for the Carlsonian contingent by opening the door to antitrust suits against Apple. I credit his Catholic formation, which bids the citizen ask of the economy, “Does it foster virtue?”
Right now, astute readers are asking, “Haven’t you said it’s the law that should foster virtue?”
To which I answer, Everything should foster virtue.
God is our true, final end. As such, our every act should ultimately be ordered toward union with Him, and divine union is the perfection of virtue.
I suspect that Kavanaugh gets this. Other Republican officials seem more than happy to give tyranny free rein as long as that tyranny is coming from corporations.
Here’s hoping more GOP leaders wake up to the fact that the law and the economy were made to serve man, not man to serve Caesar and Mammon.
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