Primary Productions LLC recently charged Apple with antitrust violations of the Sherman Act, alleging restraint of trade for how the technology giant inhibits developer access to Apple’s App Store and userbase. The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of millions of software developers that are blocked from the App Store in favor of apps developed by Apple and its cronies. The complaint states it is first-to-file such a case protecting developers of free apps.
In 2018, the group developed an app designed to educate the public about blockchain wallets by distributing hundreds of millions of dollars of free digital blockchain encryption currency, aka cryptocurrency. Apple killed the app before release because it allegedly threatened Apple’s low-price gaming Apple Arcade. Anticompetitive exclusion from a marketplace, such as that of smartphone enhanced internet commerce, is prohibited by civil and criminal code formalized as the Sherman Act of 1890.
The lawsuit states that “Apple has so far distanced the independent developer from direct access to his or her audience, that critical commerce is restrained in violation of the Sherman Act.” The lawsuit further states that “in 2021 alone, as of filing, Apple has already rejected one million apps, representing millions of person-hours of lost work, all to appease the Apple giant.”
“Apple is a monopsony retail buyer of apps, and hence underpays developers, even those of free apps, when it disallows them or suppresses their ranking on the App Store,” said attorney Keith Mathews. “Broader than existing Apple antitrust litigation, this case finally protects independent developers of free apps.”
As for solutions beyond monetary damages, which could exceed $100 billion, the lawsuit demands an injunction requiring Apple to permit due process before denying an app, via an “App Court” to act independently and thereby avoid the problem of favoritism and cronyism.
Attorney Mathews’ firm, Associated Attorneys of New England, seeks to join the New Hampshire-based Coronavirus Reporter app lawsuit to create a multi-district national litigation effort. That app, despite being designed by Dr. Robert Roberts, who consulted for NASA, developed the quantitative test that has been used to diagnose heart attacks, and chaired the prestigious Fields Medal committee, was blocked by Apple from being the first COVID-19 app in February 2020.
Download a copy of the complaint here and at www.LawsuitPressRelease.com.
John P. David