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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

35 mins ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.