On Thursday, May 26, Apple lost the bid for the dismissal of a lawsuit in California federal court from rival app store Cydia. The app store accused the tech giant of keeping an unlawful monopoly in software distribution in its operating system. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected the iPhone maker’s argument in Oakland, California this week.
Apple argued that Cydia’s accusations fell outside a four-year window generally allowed under federal antitrust law. The California Judge gave her ruling for plaintiff SaurikiT LLC, which developed Cydia, following the dismissal of an earlier legal challenge. In the first lawsuit, she reportedly ruled the claims to be outside the statute of limitations. However, she enabled Cydia to come up with a new complaint that was filed in January this year.
Attorneys representing Cydia argued about Apple’s technology updates in this amended lawsuit. They referred to the updates between 2018 and 2020 which they said were ‘overt’ acts harming iOS app distributors like Cydia. Gonzalez Rogers referred to the claims from Cydia about the updates excluding it as ‘timely’ in the ruling last Thursday. Neither Apple and its lawyers, nor Cydia and its lawyers acknowledged any requests made for a comment on the situation.
“to the extent plaintiff’s claims rely on Apple’s technological updates to exclude Cydia from being able to operate altogether, those claims are timely.”
In February, lawyers for Apple Inc referred to claims from Cydia as ‘time-barred’ and ‘stale’. Moreover, they urged the same Judge to dismiss the company, additionally barring any further attempts to amend it. The lawsuit mainly targets to open markets ‘for iOS app distributions and iOS app payment processing.’ This is for those who aim to fairly compete with Apple Inc in these areas. Moreover, the lawsuit seeks to ‘recover the enormous damages’ caused by Apple on Cydia.
Clearly, this case seems somewhat identical to the antitrust lawsuit filed against the tech giant by Fortnite make Epic Games Inc in 2020. This was over the removal of the video game from the App Store. Reportedly, Apple removed Epic Games’ Fortnite following the company coming up with a payment system that did not align with Apple’s commission of 30% on in-app purchases.
Gonzalez Rogers had looked over this case as well. Last year, she largely ruled for Apple, with the case currently pending in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco. Moreover, she has directed Apple Inc to come with a response to Cydia’s complaint by mid-June.