Apple Antitrust: Contractual Privity Trumps Proximate Cause Under Illinois Brick, But Maybe Not Under Associated General Contractors?

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In Apple Inc. v. Pepper, a 5-4 Supreme Court affirmed the right of app purchasers under the indirect-purchaser rule of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois to sue Apple, Inc., for monopolizing the retail market for iPhone apps based upon an alleged overcharge levied upon app developers. The discrepancy between the identity of plaintiffs—the app users—and the direct payers of the alleged monopoly overcharge—the app developers—caused much controversy within the antitrust bar as to the application of the Illinois Brick indirect-purchaser rule.