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Apple scored a small victory in court today, but this time it rested on a technicality. In a class-action lawsuit that dates back to 2011, the plaintiffs iargued that Apple was fostering an illegal monopoly with the App Store, because the Cupertino company doesn't let users use other app stores besides its own.
The technicality? According to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers' order (as reported by Bloomberg), "'The plaintiffs failed to prove 'collective allegations that they have been deprived of lower cost alternatives, paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications, or had their iPhones disabled or destroyed,' Gonzalez wrote. 'At a minimum, plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple’s alleged conduct.'"
In other words, the plaintiffs had never actually bought the apps in question. Back in March, Apple requested that the suit be dismissed because it doesn't set prices for the App Store and because the 30 percent cut it takes from the sale of every app doesn't clash with any antitrust laws.
Unfortunately for Apple, Gonzalez's order doesn't mean that the plaintiffs can't simply amend and refile the complaint, which Alexander Schmidt, lawyer for the plaintiffs, says will be possible with "no difficulty." This time around, they'll argue that Apple has "cornered the distribution market for software for the iPhone."
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.