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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on an antitrust case alleging that Apple created a monopoly with its App Store, which makes Apple the exclusive distributor of apps for the iPhone and takes a cut of app sale prices.

Bottom line: If Apple is found guilty of engaging in monopolistic behavior in what it charges developers to carry their apps in its App Store, Apple could be forced to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers purchasing the apps.

At issue: Apple charges developers a $99 annual fee to register their apps with the App store, in addition to a 30% commission on every app sale. A group of consumers that filed the original suit in 2011 claims those fees end up increasing app prices for consumers. A lower court found the developers did not have the legal standing to bring the class action lawsuit, but a judge later overturned that decision.

The bigger picture: Any case over claims that a U.S. tech giant is engaged in monopolistic behavior is bound to get a lot of attention these days. And the suit takes aim at the concept of "walled garden" ecosystems, has could impact just about every large tech company in some way.

Go deeper:

  • Supreme Court will hear Apple's appeal about iPhone App Store antitrust suit (AppleInsider)
  • The Supreme Court will hear an iOS App Store antitrust lawsuit (The Verge)
  • Apple Gets U.S. Supreme Court Review on iPhone App Fee Suit (Bloomberg)

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
30 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus death rates rising across the country

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Census Bureau; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Daily coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday, when roughly 2,800 people died from the virus.

The big picture: Caseloads and hospitalizations continue to rise, and deaths are spiking in states all across the country.

30 mins ago - World

Ratcliffe's long-term China play

Ratcliffe testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Axios in an interview Thursday that "China and China alone is the only country that has the ability to compete with the U.S." — and hopes the intelligence community will adopt his view even under "the next administration."

Why it matters: Ratcliffe's comments suggested that he's trying to lock in the Trump era's harder line on China for the long term.

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