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Apple wants China to alter an antitrust ruling it already won

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Apple scored a win when China ruled in its favor over an App Store antitrust suit, but now it seems to fear that its victory could backfire.

In May 2024, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court took Apple’s side in a case alleging that the App Store’s 30% commission was unfair. The court found that the fees were not “significantly higher” than in app stores running on Android.

However, according to Bloomberg, Apple has taken the very unusual move of requesting a change in the court’s written ruling. The firm has asked the country’s Supreme People’s Court to strike certain references in the text.

Specifically, it wants the court to strike all references to Apple’s “dominant position.” There is also a phrase that says “unfair pricing may hurt consumers,” and it wants that removed too.

At stake is the possibility of future lawsuits that cite this ruling as precedent. Apple appears to want to avoid this case effectively establishing it as having a greater market share than its rivals.

The size of its market and therefore its dominance is universally included in every anti-trust case that Apple faces. In the US, Senator Warren has called its approximately 50% share of the smartphone market a monopoly.

Similarly, though less nonsensically, the European Union’s Margrethe Vestager described Apple as being a dominant player in the high end market.

“I think what we see is that there are indeed very different and very separate markets when it comes to smartphones,” she said, “and [a] very high end, very expensive phone is not in the same market as a very, you know, affordable, cheaper phone.”