Apple’s effort to dismiss an updated antitrust case brought by the inventor of Cydia, a jailbroken iPhone app marketplace, was unsuccessful (via Reuters). Apple’s attempt to dismiss the action was refused by California District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Thursday, and the corporation has been given 21 days to answer to Cydia’s refiled complaint.
In 2020, Cydia creator Jay Freeman (also known as Saurik) filed a lawsuit against Apple for the first time. According to the complaint, Apple “wrongfully obtained and maintained monopolistic power” in iOS app distribution and payments, preventing third-party app shops from “competing with the App Store.” Cydia was the first app store for jailbroken smartphones, and it allowed users to search and download third-party programs before the Apple App Store ever existed. In 2018, Freeman closed the Cydia shop.
The complaint was rejected in January by Judge Gonzalez Rogers, the same judge who made a mixed verdict in the Epic vs. Apple trial, claiming that Freeman’s allegations were outside the four-year statute of limitations for antitrust litigation. Gonzalez Rogers did, however, give Freeman the opportunity to alter the complaint, which he did.
According to the new lawsuit, Apple made “more aggressive” alterations to iOS from 2018 to 2021, preventing Cydia and other alternative app stores from selling “useable” software for iPhones. Apple tried to dismiss the re-filed case on the grounds that the claims were made after the statute of limitations had expired, but Gonzalez Rogers refused the move. The Verge reached out to Apple for comment but did not receive a response right away.
Following Fortnite’s withdrawal from the App Store in 2020, Epic Games launched a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that Apple had booted Epic out for giving an additional payment method, allowing Epic to avoid Apple’s up to 30% fee on in-app purchases. Around the same time, Epic launched a similar action against Google, which is expected to go to trial in 2023. Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge, filed a lawsuit against Google over its Play Store payment limits earlier this month.
Apple has been under fire from government bodies in addition to software creators. While the Netherlands has levied a series of fines against Apple for preventing Dutch dating apps from using their own billing systems, South Korea has approved legislation mandating both Apple and Google to allow third-party payment processors to be used by developers. Both the US and the EU are seeking to limit the clout of giant technology corporations, with the EU poised to pass the Digital Markets Act next year and the US making headway on the Open App Markets Act, which aims to boost competition in mobile computing.