Apple is able to change App Store rules unilaterally, US court rules

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption App Store revenue in the US is about $70bn Apple is able to unilaterally change its App Store rules on the computer it users to access its App…

Apple is able to change App Store rules unilaterally, US court rules

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption App Store revenue in the US is about $70bn

Apple is able to unilaterally change its App Store rules on the computer it users to access its App Store, a court has ruled.

The US Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling from a district court that Apple had not engaged in unfair competition.

Apple said it plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In 2016, US District Judge Lucy Koh had ruled that Apple had broken California antitrust laws by precluding certain apps that users had purchased outside the App Store from working with App Store purchases.

The appeals court gave Apple the green light to impose terms on computer hardware that could also be used to access the App Store.

“If Apple can impose strict technical limitations on the hardware that connects to the App Store, it could indefinitely restrict purchases that might be carried over to other devices,” the court said.

“We conclude that Apple’s own devices have adequate ‘computer connectivity,'” it said.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Apple currently allows mobile apps to function in the store without restriction, but it won’t allow devices to do so

Judge Koh had originally ruled that Apple violated California consumer protection laws and those in a second US federal court.

In a tweet, Apple said: “We continue to believe that the district court’s decision was incorrect and we plan to file an appeal with the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Ms Koh had ruled that Apple did not have to offer apps that did not work on the App Store for free and that its rules of engagement also breached the California Macfair and Fair Use Act.

“That the Apple App Store makes it impractical for consumers to receive value from code that they bought on other platforms is not the subject of dispute,” the court said.

“We are pleased the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court decision that recognised Apple’s unique ability to control the Apple App Store through these technical rules that connect the device to the store.”

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