PUBLISHED MAY 13, 2019

What the Apple Antitrust Lawsuit Could Mean for Your Wallet

It’s rotten news for Apple: This week, the Supremes voted to let a group of iPhone users move forward with a lawsuit against The Fruit for ‘monopolizing’ app sales. A final ruling could be years away, so TBD on who will win. But here’s what bad courtroom news for Apple might mean for your wallet.


App prices could go down. That’s what the plaintiffs are hoping. Why they’re mad: You can only buy iPhone software through the App Store. And Apple gets a 30% cut of the app’s sale. They think consumers would pay less if software developers could eliminate the middleman. But Apple says it deserves that money because it built the platform and pays employees to keep things running smoothly. If Apple loses the lawsuit, and developers start selling on other platforms — or if Apple is forced to cut its commission — you might get a discount.


Apple’s stock price could drop, too. After the SCOTUS decision was announced, Apple’s stock fell almost 6%. Probably thanks to a combo of this lawsuit news and the latest round of US-China tariffs, which might also be bad for business. If Apple has a starring role in your investment account, you might’ve felt some of that pain.


Even if you’ve never bought Apple stock, your investments could still feel the effects. That’s because Apple is a big part of lots of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds you might own. (Psst: Those are groups of companies you can invest in all at once). So when Apple falls, it can pull down the rest of the tree, too (er...fund).


Here’s the good news: Many experts still consider stock funds one of the safest ways to invest because you’re spreading the risk across a bunch of companies. Sometimes, Apple’s the bad, um, apple. But often it’s a good one.


theSkimm: What happens next with the lawsuit will make a big statement for how much power consumers have over digital platforms. And what we pay for them. Stay tuned.


PS: If you’re sweating the market’s big moves lately, deeeep breaths. Stock prices go up and down all the time. That’s normal. So far, the stock market has come back from every major drop in history. Then continued to climb.

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