Apple lawyers are continuing to press for dismissal of an App Store lawsuit regarding the Coronavirus Reporter app, claiming the developer is “cobbling together” allegations.
Apple has previously asked for a lawsuit it describes as “cavalier” to be dropped by a New Hampshire federal court. That suit has been retooled, but Apple is raising new objections that it says mean the case should be dismissed.
The developers of “Coronavirus Reporter” allege that Apple rejected its app in March 2020 “for no good reason.” According to Law360, the case has now continued with a 26-page filing made by Apple.
Reportedly, Apple’s new filing says that the revised lawsuit makes the same allegations, and that the developer has added five anonymous apps purported plaintiffs. Apple says that the developer has also copied and pasted claims from at least three other antitrust cases pending against the company.
Apple describes that as “cobbling together allegations from other actions,” and says that the “attempt to state a claim does not save” the amended complaint. Also, apps and developers can be anonymous in a case, but that must first be agreed by the district court.
Apple further refutes the “Coronavirus Reporter” developer’s amended claims regarding the Sherman Act, which is concerned with preventing monopolies and the harm they bring to competition.
“Anticompetitive harm is a pleading requirement for Section 1 and Section 2 claims,” said Apple in its filing. “Plausible allegations of anticompetitive harm are critical at the pleading stage because antitrust law protects competition, not competitors.”
“Coronavirus Reporter has only pleaded a harm to its business — an injury to itself, not an anticompetitive injury to the market,” continues Apple. “This defect is fundamental, and warrants dismissal of all Section 1 and 2 claims.”
Apple has not commented on the case outside of the new filing, and the “Coronavirus Reporter” developer has not publicly responded to the new developments.
“Coronavirus Reporter” was submitted to the App Store in March 2020. It was intended to “capture and obtain critical biostatistical and epidemiological data as it happened.”
Apple reportedly rejected the app because it was not from a recognized healthcare company. The developers argue that their company includes the ex-NASA cardiologist responsible for creating the “gold standard test” for detecting heart attacks.
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