California District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected Apple’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by the creator of Cydia.
Cydia was a third-party app store which, as you well know, is officially a no-no on Apple’s books. The store was popular among the “jailbreak” community and even predates the official app store.
Cydia creator Jay Freeman (aka ‘Saurik’) ended up shutting down his app store in 2018.
Freeman’s lawyers argued in the lawsuit that Apple’s updates between 2018 and 2021 were “more aggressive” and designed to prevent Cydia and other alternative app stores from providing “usable” apps for users. iPhones.
Ultimately, the complaint alleges that Apple “deprives” third-party app stores of “the ability to compete with the App Store.”
Apple is increasingly criticized for not allowing third-party app stores; which critics say is monopolistic and anti-competitive. The company’s main competing mobile operating system, Android, allows sideloading and installation of alternative stores.
In 2020, Microsoft Chairman Brad Smith told an antitrust committee that the App Store hinders competition far more than Microsoft once did. Smith also agreed with the assessment of Congressman David Cicilline who called the 30% reduction taken by Apple a “highway theft”.
Freeman originally filed his lawsuit in late 2020. In his suit, he said Apple had “systematically tried to stifle alternative app stores” like Cydia.
This initial complaint was dismissed by Judge Gonzalez Rogers following a successful petition by Apple. However, the judge allowed Freeman to file a new lawsuit, and Apple’s subsequent motion to dismiss it was denied.
Freeman’s lawsuit seeks to “open the markets for iOS app distribution and iOS app payment processing to those who wish to compete fairly with Apple, and to recover Apple’s enormous damages to Cydia.”
Some regulators have started to step in to at least force Apple to allow third-party payment processing services.
For example, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) recently ordered Apple to allow dating apps in the country to use alternative payment systems. Japan’s Fair Trade Commission agreed to end its investigation into the App Store in exchange for Apple supporting external payment systems, but it was limited to only “player” apps like Spotify, Netflix and others.
However, Apple has pledged to continue charging a fee on transactions from its own payment system.
Apple now has 21 days to respond to Freeman’s new complaint.
Related: Tim Sweeney: The App Store is not doing developers a favor
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