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Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a selfie this weekend. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a group of iPhone users can move forward with their suit against Apple over allegations the company has built an illegal monopoly on the sale of applications for the smartphone.

Why it matters: The ruling opens up the possibility of exposure for digital marketplaces to monopoly concerns brought by the people who buy products on them.

The plaintiffs in the case say that Apple has exercised monopoly power over the App Store, which takes a cut from every purchase of a third-party app, resulting in higher prices.

Flashback: Apple was appealing a lower court ruling that the suit could proceed because people who buy apps on the iPhone App Store are directly purchasing them from Apple.

  • That's a key distinction because legal precedent protects companies from being sued by people who make purchases from them indirectly.
  • Apple argued that while it maintained the store, customers could only sue the developers because they set the price of the apps.

Details: The court ruled 5-4 that the customers had directly purchased the apps from Apple, meaning the lawsuit could go forward.

  • It did not rule on whether or not Apple had monopolized the market for apps.

The bigger picture: Developers have raised competition concerns about the App Store as well.

  • Spotify says that the cut Apple takes from in-app subscriptions disadvantages the company in its battle with Apple's own streaming service, Apple Music.

Go deeper: Read the court's opinion

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

First look: The LCV's $4M ad buy

A screenshot from a new League of Conservation Voters ad supporting Rep. Stephanie Murphy.

The League of Conservation Voters and Climate Power are aiming another $4 million worth of ads at centrist House Democrats, urging them to support the climate provisions in President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Progressive groups are trying to counter the onslaught of conservative money pouring into swing districts. Both sides are trying to define Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda and pressure lawmakers to support — or oppose — the legislation scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Shutdown Plan B

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate will hold a futile vote Monday night — just 72 hours before a potential shutdown — on a House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: The bill is going to fail. Period. But then comes Plan B: A "clean" continuing resolution — stripped of language about raising the debt limit — that Democrats spent the past week preparing, Axios is told.

Glenn Youngkin's play: Forever- and Never-Trumpers

Glenn Youngkin in Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Friday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Standing on a flatbed hitched to a John Deere tractor in red Rockingham County, Virginia, Glenn Youngkin decried California liberalism and bashed his rival, Terry McAuliffe. He also encouraged early voting. Two words he avoided: Donald Trump.

Driving the news: Youngkin, the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee, is mounting a serious challenge to McAuliffe — a former governor and veteran of Democratic politics. Axios caught up with him on Friday in Harrisonburg, Virginia.