iPhone

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich, Switzerland January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

May 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday that Apple Inc has committed to be “clearer and more upfront” with iPhone users about battery health and performance, after the regulator looked into consumer concerns on the matter.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it raised consumer law concerns with the tech company last year after finding people were not being warned clearly that their phone’s performance could slow down following a 2017 software update designed to manage demands on the battery.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Apple is seen at a store in Zurich, Switzerland January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

May 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog said on Wednesday that Apple Inc has committed to be “clearer and more upfront” with iPhone users about battery health and performance, after the regulator looked into consumer concerns on the matter.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it raised consumer law concerns with the tech company last year after finding people were not being warned clearly that their phone’s performance could slow down following a 2017 software update designed to manage demands on the battery.

(Reporting by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 20, 2019

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell on Monday, as fears over the impact on major technology companies from Washington’s crackdown on China’s Huawei Technologies added to concerns over worsening trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies.

Apple Inc’s shares were down 2.4% premarket, while U.S. suppliers of Huawei including Qualcomm, Micron Technology and Broadcom Inc fell about 3%.

An HSBC warning that higher prices for Apple’s products following the increases in China tariffs could have “dire consequences” on demand also pressured the iPhone maker’s stock.

Huawei was officially added to a trade blacklist by the Trump administration on Thursday, escalating the already bitter trade war between the two parties, while China on Monday accused the United States of harboring “extravagant expectations” for a trade deal.

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended some business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services, Reuters reported over the weekend.

Chipmakers including Intel Corp, Qualcomm, Xilinx Inc and Broadcom have told their employees they will not supply Huawei until further notice, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

Shares of Alphabet, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp were all down 1.1%.

At 7:23 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 121 points, or 0.47%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 16.25 points, or 0.57% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 90.5 points, or 1.2%.

Heightening trade tensions pushed the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to their second successive weekly declines on Friday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average index capped a fourth straight week of losses, the longest such losing streak in three years.

Investors will also look for comments from a clutch of retailers reporting this week on the impact of the tariff war.

Home Depot, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target are among retailers scheduled to report.

With 460 of S&P 500 companies having posted first-quarter results, 75.2% have topped analysts’ profit expectations. Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings growth of 1.4%, a significant turnaround from the 2% loss expected on April 1, according to Refinitiv data.

Also on the radar is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on “Assessing Risks to our Financial System” at an Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank conference at 7 p.m. ET (2300 GMT).

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: OANN

A police officer walks out with a dog from a room where four jailed Catalan politician will get their parliamentary credentials, in Madrid
A police officer walks out with a dog from a room where four jailed Catalan politician will get their parliamentary credentials, in Madrid, Spain, May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Susana Vera

May 20, 2019

MADRID (Reuters) – Five jailed Catalan separatists elected to parliament last month picked up their credentials as lawmakers on Monday amid high security after being granted temporary release from custody.

Flanked by plainclothes police and ushered through a tight cordon set up around the national assembly building, they were applauded in by about ten lawmakers from their parties – ERC and JxCat – and a Basque nationalist party.

The five are in detention while on trial for their involvement in Catalonia’s 2017 independence referendum and brief declaration of secession from Spain, which judicial authorities declared illegal.

The Supreme Court ruled they could collect their papers and also attend Tuesday’s opening parliamentary sessions before returning to prison.

Oriol Junqueras, Josep Rull, Jordi Turull and Jordi Sanchez won seats in the lower house in the April 28 national election while Raul Romeva was elected to the Senate.

“Today we have been able to leave prison … thanks to your votes… Your votes have made us free,” Junqueras said in a tweet.

They and seven other Catalan leaders face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds, which they all deny. The trial is expected to last several months more.

Once they return to their cells in a high-security prison outside Madrid, the five lawmakers will face a choice – whether to give up their seats to a party colleague or risk being absent from what are likely to be closely contested votes, notably in a deeply fragmented lower house.

It is as yet unclear if they would be able to participate in any other parliamentary sessions.

Like all lawmakers, they were handed a briefcase marked with parliament’s logo. It contained an iPhone and a tablet which JxCat lawmaker Marta Borras said they would not be permitted to take back to jail with them.

(Reporting by Belen Carreno; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Ingrid Melander and John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 17, 2019

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Friday, following three consecutive sessions of gains, as trade worries returned after a Chinese newspaper took a hard stance on the tariff dispute between the United States and China.

The trade war will only make China stronger and will never bring the country to its knees, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote in a front-page commentary.

Chinese stocks took the hardest hit on Friday, with the blue-chip CSI300 index dropping 2.5%, accumulating weekly losses of 2.2%.

Beijing’s higher tariffs on U.S. products on a $60 billion target list will take effect on June 1, which could prompt Washington to go ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The two sides are expected to meet in China to resume trade talks soon.

Boeing Co, the single largest U.S. exporter to China slipped 0.3% in premarket trading and Caterpillar fell 0.5%.

Technology companies including iPhone maker Apple Inc and chipmakers, which rely on China for a large portion of their revenue, were also hit by trade fears.

All three major indexes have posted three consecutive days of gains as upbeat quarterly results and a batch of strong economic data helped ease worries of a global economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 index is now about 2% away from its record high hit earlier this month.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 120 points, or 0.46%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 14.25 points, or 0.50% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 47.5 points, or 0.62%.

Shares of Micron Technology Inc, Broadcom Inc and Intel Corp fell about 1%.

However, graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp rose 1.4% after forecasting second-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

Applied Materials Inc gained 5.4% after the chip gear maker’s upbeat third-quarter profit eased concerns about waning chip demand.

Under Armour Inc rose 3.3% after JP Morgan upgraded the sports wear maker to “overweight” from “neutral”.

Online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc shares slumped 14.9% after the recent Wall Street debutant forecast 2019 revenue broadly in line with Wall Street targets.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 17, 2019

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Friday, following three consecutive sessions of gains, as trade worries returned after a Chinese newspaper took a hard stance on the tariff dispute between the United States and China.

The trade war will only make China stronger and will never bring the country to its knees, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote in a front-page commentary.

Chinese stocks took the hardest hit on Friday, with the blue-chip CSI300 index dropping 2.5%, accumulating weekly losses of 2.2%.

Beijing’s higher tariffs on U.S. products on a $60 billion target list will take effect on June 1, which could prompt Washington to go ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The two sides are expected to meet in China to resume trade talks soon.

Boeing Co, the single largest U.S. exporter to China slipped 0.3% in premarket trading and Caterpillar fell 0.5%.

Technology companies including iPhone maker Apple Inc and chipmakers, which rely on China for a large portion of their revenue, were also hit by trade fears.

All three major indexes have posted three consecutive days of gains as upbeat quarterly results and a batch of strong economic data helped ease worries of a global economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 index is now about 2% away from its record high hit earlier this month.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 120 points, or 0.46%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 14.25 points, or 0.50% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 47.5 points, or 0.62%.

Shares of Micron Technology Inc, Broadcom Inc and Intel Corp fell about 1%.

However, graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp rose 1.4% after forecasting second-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

Applied Materials Inc gained 5.4% after the chip gear maker’s upbeat third-quarter profit eased concerns about waning chip demand.

Under Armour Inc rose 3.3% after JP Morgan upgraded the sports wear maker to “overweight” from “neutral”.

Online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc shares slumped 14.9% after the recent Wall Street debutant forecast 2019 revenue broadly in line with Wall Street targets.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Source: OANN

Neon signs in the shapes of luxury brand names illuminate the facade of David Plaza, a shopping mall in Zhengzhou
Neon signs in the shapes of luxury brand names illuminate the facade of David Plaza, a shopping mall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, January 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yawen Chen

May 17, 2019

By Stella Qiu, Yawen Chen and Philip Wen

ZHENGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Dressed in a smart black pantsuit behind the wheel of her pearl-white Audi, Zhao Na has come a long way from her roots in rural Henan province, in central China.

The 29-year-old real estate agent cheerfully admits to having shopaholic ways and a love of Louis Vuitton and Prada handbags, typifying a wave of free-spending consumers who have had the world’s top brands scrambling for a piece of China’s $5 trillion-plus retail market.

“When I am flush, I am happy to part with money,” said Zhao, who once splurged around 60,000 yuan ($9,000) on a clutch of handbags during a trip to Paris in 2017. “Spending makes me happy.”

But with China’s economy slowing, Zhao’s business has hit a wall and her income has plummeted, forcing her to shelve that source of happiness.

She has scrapped the European shopping trips and weaned herself off buying binges at her favorite mall, David Plaza, where giant digital screens flash advertisements for brands like Gucci, Lancome and Ermenegildo Zegna in the center of Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital.

“Not being able to spend money as I like makes me feel lousy, but I cannot do much about it,” Zhao said.

REALITY CHECK

An economic slowdown in China, after three decades of unbridled growth, is being felt especially keenly by consumers like Zhao in Henan. The province, with its 100 million people, is a key pillar of China’s aspirations to transform its economy by boosting domestic spending and raising living standards in the country’s interior.

But according to dozens of interviews with consumers and merchants across Henan, as well as trade group data, people in the province are spending less on everything from cars and household appliances to clothing and cosmetics.

(Map of Henan province: https://tmsnrt.rs/2WK6CVv)

Scaled-back consumption by inland urbanites like Zhao could have serious repercussions for China’s economic growth, already imperiled by an escalating trade war with the United States.

It could also be a reality check for global retailers.

The Italian suit-maker Ermenegildo Zegna, the American luxury jeweler Tiffany, and Apple have all warned that consumers across China are paring back spending.

On Wednesday, China reported weak growth in retail sales, and a drop in spending on clothing for the first time in a decade.

Slowing spending in inland cities such as Zhengzhou could dent the ambitions of global retailers that have pinned their hopes on future growth in regions like Henan, the largest provincial economy beyond China’s prosperous coastal regions.

A PROVINCE TRANSFORMED

Long a dusty provincial capital, Zhengzhou’s transformation in recent years into a metropolis with a glittering skyline and fashionable malls has been staggering.

The city of 10 million is a key transportation hub on China’s Belt and Road network, linked by rail to Central Asia and Europe beyond, with high-speed connections to Beijing and Shanghai. The Taiwan contract manufacturer Foxconn has built an enormous iPhone factory in the city that employs 230,000 people.

Ambitious young people once typically fled Henan to seek better lives elsewhere. But Zhengzhou now gives them a place to pursue their middle-class dreams: earning more and being able to afford their own modern homes and an array of consumer goods.

For Zhao, the city was a beacon of hope.

Born into a family of farmers in rural Henan, the youngest of three children, Zhao dreamed from an early age of escaping her impoverished village. She did well in school, which allowed her to attend university in Zhengzhou, where she discovered a talent for sales.

She joined a property developer, working for rich clients sporting designer clothes and fancy handbags. Soon, she was able to taste that lifestyle herself as she began racking up lucrative commissions on sales of top-end apartments in Zhengdong New Area, a commercial district where luxury hotels and office towers have sprouted from farmland.

She became a regular at the high-end shops of David Plaza and bought a car and two homes, letting one of them out on Airbnb.

Supplementing the commissions, Zhao also piled up debt on her half-dozen credit cards. She says she owes about 200,000 yuan in credit card debt, on top of monthly mortgage and car payments totaling 15,000 yuan.

But as Zhengzhou’s frenzied property market cooled last year, sales plummeted, along with her commissions. And that put an end to her shopping trips to David Plaza.

Zhao is not alone in cutting back. Consumer confidence in provincial cities such as Zhengzhou fell slightly last year after hitting its highest level in at least nine years in 2017, according to Nielsen, a research firm. Retail sales growth in Zhengzhou fell to single-digits last year for the first time in nearly two decades.

At two malls in Zhengzhou’s downtown shopping district, retailers selling cosmetic brands like Kiehl’s and Clinique said customers were becoming more careful.

“They used to buy a lot and spend their money rather carelessly,” said Li Mengru, the cosmetic sales manager at the Dennis Department Store who oversees brands including Chanel, Dior and Estee Lauder. “Now they are becoming choosier as they turn cautious about spending.”

EASY MONEY

A key driver of consumption in China in recent years has been the explosion of new finance options, including peer-to-peer loans and endless opportunities for acquiring credit cards. That put a wealth of consumer goods in reach for people previously unable to afford them.

Chai Maofeng, a 28-year-old beef distributor in Xuchang, a Henan city of about 4 million people, opened ten credit card accounts in 2016 to furnish his apartment with a sofa set, refrigerator, air conditioners and televisions – all brand new.

“Opening a credit card account was easy – banks were happy to lend to you, and all you needed was a landline number that suggested you worked in an office,” said Chai.

But Chai said he had to put his freespending ways on hold after the economic slowdown started hurting his business, which had also been hit by a sweeping crackdown on polluting industries that pushed up beef prices.

Chai said he had put off plans to buy a second property and a new car.

“This one from the company is actually fine,” he said, referring to the white van his company lets him use.

WORSE TO COME?

China’s economy showed signs of recovery in the first quarter, with gross domestic product growing more than expected by analysts. But an intensifying trade war with the United States, sluggish factory activity and slowing global demand for Chinese products suggest the slowdown will continue through 2019, most economists say.

Efforts by Beijing to rein in credit and risky debt over the past few years to contain speculative bubbles has also reduced the amount of easy money available for many consumers.

Those factors are likely to keep weighing on consumer spending, analysts say.

Beijing has taken steps to prop up spending, announcing plans in January for subsidies to boost purchases of cars, an industry that saw sales decline last year for the first time in two decades. The government has also sought to increase take-home pay by reducing the income tax burden for many individuals.

(Graphic: Henan’s skidding auto sales – https://tmsnrt.rs/2WD0Gxy)

But government help is unlikely to offset a decline in confidence stemming from slowing income growth and rising household debt, analysts say.

For all that, consumers have not stopped spending altogether. On a recent afternoon in downtown Zhengzhou, David Plaza was bustling, with shoppers checking out the latest lipsticks and sipping lattes in coffee shops.

But Zhao was not among them.

Staring at almost 30 years of mortgage payments ahead of her, and the car loans she still needs to repay, she said it might be a while before she shops at the mall again.

“With income falling, I have to make every penny count,” Zhao said. “Unnecessary luxury spending has to go for now.”

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Yawen Chen and Philip Wen; Editing by Tony Munroe and Philip McClellan)

Source: OANN

Neon signs in the shapes of luxury brand names illuminate the facade of David Plaza, a shopping mall in Zhengzhou
Neon signs in the shapes of luxury brand names illuminate the facade of David Plaza, a shopping mall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, January 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yawen Chen

May 17, 2019

By Stella Qiu, Yawen Chen and Philip Wen

ZHENGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Dressed in a smart black pantsuit behind the wheel of her pearl-white Audi, Zhao Na has come a long way from her roots in rural Henan province, in central China.

The 29-year-old real estate agent cheerfully admits to having shopaholic ways and a love of Louis Vuitton and Prada handbags, typifying a wave of free-spending consumers who have had the world’s top brands scrambling for a piece of China’s $5 trillion-plus retail market.

“When I am flush, I am happy to part with money,” said Zhao, who once splurged around 60,000 yuan ($9,000) on a clutch of handbags during a trip to Paris in 2017. “Spending makes me happy.”

But with China’s economy slowing, Zhao’s business has hit a wall and her income has plummeted, forcing her to shelve that source of happiness.

She has scrapped the European shopping trips and weaned herself off buying binges at her favorite mall, David Plaza, where giant digital screens flash advertisements for brands like Gucci, Lancome and Ermenegildo Zegna in the center of Zhengzhou, Henan’s capital.

“Not being able to spend money as I like makes me feel lousy, but I cannot do much about it,” Zhao said.

REALITY CHECK

An economic slowdown in China, after three decades of unbridled growth, is being felt especially keenly by consumers like Zhao in Henan. The province, with its 100 million people, is a key pillar of China’s aspirations to transform its economy by boosting domestic spending and raising living standards in the country’s interior.

But according to dozens of interviews with consumers and merchants across Henan, as well as trade group data, people in the province are spending less on everything from cars and household appliances to clothing and cosmetics.

(Map of Henan province: https://tmsnrt.rs/2WK6CVv)

Scaled-back consumption by inland urbanites like Zhao could have serious repercussions for China’s economic growth, already imperiled by an escalating trade war with the United States.

It could also be a reality check for global retailers.

The Italian suit-maker Ermenegildo Zegna, the American luxury jeweler Tiffany, and Apple have all warned that consumers across China are paring back spending.

On Wednesday, China reported weak growth in retail sales, and a drop in spending on clothing for the first time in a decade.

Slowing spending in inland cities such as Zhengzhou could dent the ambitions of global retailers that have pinned their hopes on future growth in regions like Henan, the largest provincial economy beyond China’s prosperous coastal regions.

A PROVINCE TRANSFORMED

Long a dusty provincial capital, Zhengzhou’s transformation in recent years into a metropolis with a glittering skyline and fashionable malls has been staggering.

The city of 10 million is a key transportation hub on China’s Belt and Road network, linked by rail to Central Asia and Europe beyond, with high-speed connections to Beijing and Shanghai. The Taiwan contract manufacturer Foxconn has built an enormous iPhone factory in the city that employs 230,000 people.

Ambitious young people once typically fled Henan to seek better lives elsewhere. But Zhengzhou now gives them a place to pursue their middle-class dreams: earning more and being able to afford their own modern homes and an array of consumer goods.

For Zhao, the city was a beacon of hope.

Born into a family of farmers in rural Henan, the youngest of three children, Zhao dreamed from an early age of escaping her impoverished village. She did well in school, which allowed her to attend university in Zhengzhou, where she discovered a talent for sales.

She joined a property developer, working for rich clients sporting designer clothes and fancy handbags. Soon, she was able to taste that lifestyle herself as she began racking up lucrative commissions on sales of top-end apartments in Zhengdong New Area, a commercial district where luxury hotels and office towers have sprouted from farmland.

She became a regular at the high-end shops of David Plaza and bought a car and two homes, letting one of them out on Airbnb.

Supplementing the commissions, Zhao also piled up debt on her half-dozen credit cards. She says she owes about 200,000 yuan in credit card debt, on top of monthly mortgage and car payments totaling 15,000 yuan.

But as Zhengzhou’s frenzied property market cooled last year, sales plummeted, along with her commissions. And that put an end to her shopping trips to David Plaza.

Zhao is not alone in cutting back. Consumer confidence in provincial cities such as Zhengzhou fell slightly last year after hitting its highest level in at least nine years in 2017, according to Nielsen, a research firm. Retail sales growth in Zhengzhou fell to single-digits last year for the first time in nearly two decades.

At two malls in Zhengzhou’s downtown shopping district, retailers selling cosmetic brands like Kiehl’s and Clinique said customers were becoming more careful.

“They used to buy a lot and spend their money rather carelessly,” said Li Mengru, the cosmetic sales manager at the Dennis Department Store who oversees brands including Chanel, Dior and Estee Lauder. “Now they are becoming choosier as they turn cautious about spending.”

EASY MONEY

A key driver of consumption in China in recent years has been the explosion of new finance options, including peer-to-peer loans and endless opportunities for acquiring credit cards. That put a wealth of consumer goods in reach for people previously unable to afford them.

Chai Maofeng, a 28-year-old beef distributor in Xuchang, a Henan city of about 4 million people, opened ten credit card accounts in 2016 to furnish his apartment with a sofa set, refrigerator, air conditioners and televisions – all brand new.

“Opening a credit card account was easy – banks were happy to lend to you, and all you needed was a landline number that suggested you worked in an office,” said Chai.

But Chai said he had to put his freespending ways on hold after the economic slowdown started hurting his business, which had also been hit by a sweeping crackdown on polluting industries that pushed up beef prices.

Chai said he had put off plans to buy a second property and a new car.

“This one from the company is actually fine,” he said, referring to the white van his company lets him use.

WORSE TO COME?

China’s economy showed signs of recovery in the first quarter, with gross domestic product growing more than expected by analysts. But an intensifying trade war with the United States, sluggish factory activity and slowing global demand for Chinese products suggest the slowdown will continue through 2019, most economists say.

Efforts by Beijing to rein in credit and risky debt over the past few years to contain speculative bubbles has also reduced the amount of easy money available for many consumers.

Those factors are likely to keep weighing on consumer spending, analysts say.

Beijing has taken steps to prop up spending, announcing plans in January for subsidies to boost purchases of cars, an industry that saw sales decline last year for the first time in two decades. The government has also sought to increase take-home pay by reducing the income tax burden for many individuals.

(Graphic: Henan’s skidding auto sales – https://tmsnrt.rs/2WD0Gxy)

But government help is unlikely to offset a decline in confidence stemming from slowing income growth and rising household debt, analysts say.

For all that, consumers have not stopped spending altogether. On a recent afternoon in downtown Zhengzhou, David Plaza was bustling, with shoppers checking out the latest lipsticks and sipping lattes in coffee shops.

But Zhao was not among them.

Staring at almost 30 years of mortgage payments ahead of her, and the car loans she still needs to repay, she said it might be a while before she shops at the mall again.

“With income falling, I have to make every penny count,” Zhao said. “Unnecessary luxury spending has to go for now.”

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Yawen Chen and Philip Wen; Editing by Tony Munroe and Philip McClellan)

Source: OANN

Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Monday joined the four liberal justices on the high court in rejecting a plea from tech-giant Apple to end a major antitrust lawsuit wrote over its App Store.

Kavanaugh, appointed by President Donald Trump last year, wrote the majority opinion that agreed the lawsuit can move forward in a lower court. Justice Neil Gorsuch, another Trump appointee who joined the court in 2017, wrote the dissent.

Four iPhone users sued Apple, claiming that it was monopolizing the retail market for the sale of apps. The company charges up to a 30% commission to developers who sell their products through the app store and bans them from selling their apps elsewhere.

“The plaintiffs’ allegations boil down to one straightforward claim: that Apple exercises monopoly power in the retail market for the sale of apps and has unlawfully used its monopoly power to force iPhone owners to pay Apple higher-than-competitive prices for apps,” Justice Kavanaugh wrote.

The majority also shut down Apple’s argument that app developers set their own prices, meaning that consumers should not be able to sue the company.

“A ‘who sets the price’ rule,” he wrote, “would draw an arbitrary and unprincipled line among retailers based on retailers’ financial arrangements with their manufacturers or suppliers.”

“Under Apple’s rule a consumer could sue a monopolistic retailer when the retailer set the retail price by marking up the price it had paid the manufacturer or supplier for the good or service,” he wrote. “But a consumer could not sue a monopolistic retailer when the manufacturer or supplier set the retail price and the retailer took a commission on each sale.”

Apple said in a statement that it was “confident we will prevail when the facts are presented and that the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York
FILE PHOTO: Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, U.S., August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

May 13, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave the go-ahead for a lawsuit by consumers accusing Apple Inc of monopolizing the market for iPhone software applications and forcing them to overpay, rejecting the company’s bid to escape claims that its practices violate federal antitrust law.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld a lower court’s decision to allow the proposed class action lawsuit to proceed. The plaintiffs said the Cupertino, California-based technology company required apps be sold through its App Store and extracted an excessive 30 percent commission on purchases.

Apple shares moved lower after the ruling.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN


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