2019/05/14

Punished Brett Strikes Back

The blackpillers who've assured us that President Trump's second SCOTUS pick is a garden variety GOPe stooge just got served a nice tall glass of STFU by Coach K.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court on Monday, penning an opinion against Apple that ruled the tech company can be sued over high prices in their App Store.
The case, Apple v. Pepper, was brought by iPhone users who complained that the App Store is the only place where iPhone apps are available and that, as a result, Apple has a monopoly on “the iPhone apps aftermarket.” They claim prices are consequently high stemming from the charges Apple imposes on app developers.
Translation from the legalese:

Coach K
A district court decision had said that the iPhone users did not have standing to bring their antitrust claim because the developers -- not Apple -- are the ones selling the apps. Court precedent says that indirect purchasers who are at least two steps removed in a distribution chain cannot sue. Apple also claimed that because they don’t set the retail price of the apps on the store, iPhone users cannot sue them.
The Ninth Circuit, however, said that Apple is indeed the seller, through their App Store. Kavanaugh agreed, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Did we just go through another Mandela Effect reality shift? Because for once, I agree with the Ninth Circuit.

So does Justice Dredd:
“It is undisputed that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple,” Kavanaugh wrote. He also addressed Apple’s claim that they do not set app prices by pointing out that the company’s practice of charging app developers $99 per year plus 30 percent of sales indeed affects pricing.
“In the retail context, the price charged by a retailer to a consumer is often a result (at least in part) of the price charged by the manufacturer or supplier to the retailer, or of negotiations between the manufacturer or supplier and the retailer,” Kavanaugh said.
Here's Kavanaugh applying what used to be textbook Conservative economic doctrine. Corporations don't pay extra costs and fees. Consumers do.

Meanwhile, Trump's other SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch sides with the other Conservative justices, who are suddenly singing the "muh private megacorp!" chorus with the National Review crowd.

Others have said it, and I concur. The GOP is embroiled in an internal fight for its soul. It's the Ben "You're promised nothing but adventure" Shapiro vs. the Tucker "We won't abandon the graves of our grandfathers" Carlson factions in a brawl for all the marbles.

Coach K. just struck a mighty blow for the Carlsonian contingent by opening the door to antitrust suits against Apple. I credit his Catholic formation, which bids the citizen ask of the economy, "Does it foster virtue?"

Right now, astute readers are asking, "Haven't you said it's the law that should foster virtue?"

To which I answer, Everything should foster virtue.

God is our true, final end. As such, our every act should ultimately be ordered toward union with Him, and divine union is the perfection of virtue.

I suspect that Kavanaugh gets this. Other Republican officials seem more than happy to give tyranny free rein as long as that tyranny is coming from corporations.

Here's hoping more GOP leaders wake up to the fact that the law and the economy were made to serve man, not man to serve Caesar and Mammon.

19 comments:

  1. And the GOP should remember that corporations are created and regulated by state law statutes. The law ostensibly serves and protects its citizens. Example, from the Minnesota Constitution: "Government is instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people, in whom all political power is inherent, together with the right to alter, modify or reform government whenever required by the public good."

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    1. "And the GOP should remember that corporations are created and regulated by state law statutes."

      Good point there. Every corporation is created by an act of government.

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  2. Just because they can sue, doesn't mean they'll win. They'll still have to prove their case, which isn't going to be easy. Most likely Apple will settle out of court because it will be cheaper than fighting it. However, this is a good first step. Law needs to really balance private and public interests. Kavanaugh seems to get that.

    I'm kind of torn between "You should have known better than to buy Apple products, you idiots" and "about damn time someone sues Apple for being greedy".

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    1. Apple will almost certainly settle, which is fine. A settlement is like a genie wish. The plaintiff can ask for pretty much anything to make the legal hurting stop.

      That guy who sucker punched The Quartering at Gen Con just settled Jeremy's civil suit against him. He had to publish a video of him apologizing and specifically stating that The Quartering isn't a Nazi. That's like forcing a vampire to kiss a crucifix.

      Anyway, enough folks have been screwed by the App Store, including Andrew Torba, that there will probably be multiple lawsuits. I was talking with a more legally minded buddy, and he expects there'll be a big class action suit. Everybody will probably get like 5 bucks in the settlement, but they'll still take a bite out of the Apple.

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    2. Re the Quartering - bwahahahahahaha

      I hope Apple is just one of many lawsuits against the big corps for the crap they keep pulling.

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  3. Brian,

    Amazon is just as bad and is pretty much next

    https://the-digital-reader.com/2019/05/14/guest-post-amazons-bottomless-appetite/

    xavier

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    1. Amazon is weird. It's not technically a monopoly because it doesn't control production in any market. Nor is it a monopsony, because it's not the sole buyer in a market.

      Amazon is something new to my knowledge: a monolithic retailer. The only analogues I can think of are the company stores where outfits like Pullman forced their workers to shop and retail outlets owned by Communist states.

      Whatever it is, I've come around on the Amazon question. The Beez's empire is too big and needs to be broken up.

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    2. Brian,

      Agreed. The retail branch needs to be broken up. As for kindle, I don't want traditional publishing to be saved from itself. It needs to disappear.

      xavier

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  4. On the merits, yes if you are the only store in town and you are taking a cut, you ARE the seller. Apple goes to great lengths to control what's on the App store and sells that control as a benefit to Apple users. They can't suddenly claim ignorance and powerlessness when it comes to price. It's their walled garden, they are the ones selling the vegetables.

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  5. The Kavinator's next target: Violators of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

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  6. This whole "we're not really the seller" schtick is a violation of the basic principles of moral trade. It's about time we saw some pushback against this two-tier economy: one for ordinary people, and another for corporate-legal sorcerers.

    As a red-blooded capitalist and a fan of markets, I pray that this is only the beginning. The modern big-government-big-business complex needs to be smashed so that moral, responsible, voluntary trade can once again flourish.

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  7. Part of the media consolidation that helps give rise to Big Tech dates back to....1997! Or rather the 1996 Telecommunications Act that greatly accelerated the trend of merging ownership of physical phone/internet lines, radio/tv stations, etc.. So once it was signed, the companies start merging, making things a lot worse for culture as a whole in '97.

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    1. We need to get this together for a book. It'd certainly be better than most out there.

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    2. Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the UK in 1997.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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