Apple Stock (NASDAQ: AAPL), the world’s most valuable public company, has not been immune to market volatility as of late. The company, which was the first to exceed $1 trillion in market capitalization, has lost most of its gains for the year, and is now tracking at just 3.19% growth since January.
Trade tensions, a slowing tech market, and underperforming iPhone sales have all contributed to reduced investor confidence. The company is fighting market headwinds again this week, with both an ongoing legal battle and fresh trade concerns.
Supreme Court to Decide if Consumers Can Sue for App Store Monopoly
Apple’s App Store is integral to its business model, giving the company complete oversight of the applications that can be developed and distributed over its iOS platform.
A group of consumers is now seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against the tech giant, alleging that the App Store is a monopoly that causes prices to be higher than they would be if a competitive open marketplace existed. Unlike the competing Android platform from Google, Apple apps cannot be installed from other sources.
The Supreme Court is now considering whether the group will be able to proceed with legal action. Justices will need to determine whether consumers have the right to sue Apple. The company’s legal defense believes that consumers have no right to sue, as Apple has no direct control over pricing, and instead acts as a middle-man between application developers and iOS users.
Supreme Court Justices already appear to be unsympathetic to Apple’s argument.
Associate Justice Elena Kagan said during initial questioning that “I pick up my iPhone. I go to Apple’s App Store. I pay Apple directly with the credit card information that I’ve supplied to Apple. From my perspective, I’ve just engaged in a one-step transaction with Apple Stock.”
The court is expected to make a ruling before the end of June 2019. As has been seen in previous cases, initial comments by Justices do not always reflect their final ruling, which will take details of law and historical precedent into account.
Apple Stock Down Ahead of Trade Talks
President Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week and has not ruled out new tariffs if talks do not meet his expectations. Trump has said that he will apply tariffs to previously exempt Chinese-made products like iPhones and Mac computers. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the only acceptable outcome would be if China decides to “open up their country to competition from the United States.”
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