Blix antitrust lawsuit targeting 'Sign in with Apple' is dismissed [u]

in General Discussion edited July 2021
A federal court has now dismissed BlueMail developer Blix's antitrust case against Apple and the App Store, following a previous decision to dismiss the firm's patent infringement claims.

BlueMail by developer Blix
BlueMail by developer Blix

Following Apple's launch of "Sign in with Apple," BlueMail developer Blix had filed a lawsuit alleging both patent infringement and that Apple was using anticompetitive practices in the App Store. The patent elements were dismissed in March 2021, leaving solely the accusation that Apple was profiting from operating an unfair monopoly.

Now according to Law Street Media, a District of Delaware judge has also dismissed the anticompetition element of the case.

"The core of Blix's allegation seems to be that Apple has constructed a 'moat' around its user base by a series of actions that, individually and especially together, make it difficult and expensive for Apple iOS users to leave the coordinated technological ecosystem," said the court in a ruling. "[This moat is allegedly] grounded and protected by Apple's monopoly power in its OS."

The court noted that Blix's claims regarding a monopoly were based on Apple's alleged patent infringements, which had now been dismissed. Without the patents, the court reportedly concluded that Blix failed to plead that Apple unlawfully restrained competition.

"Apple's current policy of requiring Sign In With Apple whenever any SSO [Single Sign On] product is offered... does not foreclose the use of other SSOs," continued the court ruling.

This therefore indicated to the court that Apple was not restraining competition, but arguably allowing it.

The court also determined that following what Law Street Media describes as numerous attempts at amendment, re-pleading the case would now be futile.

In a statement to AppleInsider, Blix founder Ben Volach says that his company "accurately described Apple's monopoly power," and claims that Apple "chose not to contest that in court."

"We are glad that the fairness movement we've started for app developers to speak out the truth against Apple continues to gain momentum," he said, "and we have high hopes that the Biden administration, the EU Commission, Australia and other countries will limit Apple's disproportionate power."

Updated: 08:25 ET July 13 with statement from Blix

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  • Reply 1 of 6
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Well, well, well...
  • Reply 2 of 6
    I wonder what their new argument will be.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    They should be forced to pay Apple’s legal costs. 
  • Reply 4 of 6
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,083member
    Apple should go after them with attorney fees with a vengeance.  Otherwise, these companies will continue with these frivolous lawsuits.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    This certainly doesn't help Epic with their own lawsuit. Part of the prior patent claim dismissal included the judge noting that Blix's success with cross-platform apps "demonstrated that the App Store is not essential to BlueMail's success". That principle seems very easy to apply to apps like Fortnite. 
    edited July 2021 magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    And this ruling comes from Delaware - hard to see Blix finding a better venue apart from Texas. Once the patent claims were dismissed, the case was over.
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