A drop in the value of appple shares has pushed the godlike technology corporation back below Microsoft’s market capitalisation for the first time since May 2010, taking a big enough bite out of Apple’s valuation to lose the company its spot as the most valuable US company.
Earlier today , Apple share proces tumbled after reports that the US Supreme Court appears willing to allow a lawsuit to go forward that claims Apple has unfairly monopolized the market for the sale of iPhone apps.
As Associated Press reports, the court has heard arguments in Apple’s effort to shut down an antitrust lawsuit.
Chief Justice John Roberts was alone among the nine justices in seeming ready to agree with Apple.
The suit by iPhone users could force Apple to cut the 30 percent commission it charges software developers whose apps are sold exclusively through Apple’s App Store.
A judge could triple the compensation to consumers under antitrust law if Apple ultimately loses the suit.
Justice Stephen Breyer used to teach antitrust law at Harvard Law School. He says the consumers’ case seemed straightforward.
Apple argues it’s merely a pipeline between app developers and consumers.
A ruling against Apple could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. The company is sitting on almost a trillion dollars in cash. Though fanboys are claiming this would be a fleabite to Apple, which is holding a billion dollars in cash, things are more complicated than that. Apple’s cash mountain is profit (from robbing users with their monopolistic marketing policies) offshored to avoid tax. The moment they start repatriating that, the taxman is going to be on their case.
And as is usually the case with these tech companies that think they are above the law, once the case reveals how they have stolen from users, public trust will evaporate. That’s what will really hurt.