U.S. district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has rejected Apple’s bid to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by Jay Freeman, creator of Cydia, the alternative App Store for “jailbroken” iPhones and iPads.
Freeman – one of a growing number of developers who have sued Apple for alleged anticompetitive behavior – filed suit against Apple back in late 2020, alleging that the Cupertino firm has an illegal monopoly over iOS app distribution given that the App Store is the only authorized marketplace where users can download apps on the iPhone and iPad. Freeman alleged that Apple has “consistently tried to snuff out alternative app stores.”
Judge Gonzalez Rogers in January 2022 granted Apple’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by Freeman,. However, while the judge granted Apple’s motion, it was granted with a leave to amend, giving Freeman a January 19 deadline to file an amended complaint. That new complaint has now been accepted, according to Reuters.
Cydia’s lawyers argued in the amended lawsuit that Apple’s technology updates between 2018 and 2021 were “overt” acts that harmed iOS app distributors such as Cydia. In Thursday’s ruling, Gonzalez Rogers said “to the extent plaintiff’s claims rely on Apple’s technological updates to exclude Cydia from being able to operate altogether, those claims are timely.”
The lawsuit “seeks to open the markets for iOS app distribution and iOS app payment processing to those who wish to compete fairly with Apple, and to recover the enormous damages Apple caused Cydia.”
Gonzalez Rogers has directed Apple to respond by mid-June to Freeman’s complaint.
The Cydia app store was launched several months before Apple’s launch of the official App Store. Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPhone allows users to install apps from the Cydia store, which contains apps, tweaks, and themes that normally would not be available due to App Store restrictions.