Judge Sides With Apple, Throws Out Developer's Claims Over App Store Ban

Siding with Apple, a federal judge has dismissed a complaint that the company violated antitrust laws by banning the “Konverti” app -- which facilitates in-person meetings for people to exchange small amounts of foreign currency -- from the App store.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in the Northern District of California essentially said the app developer's allegations, even if true, wouldn't show that Apple violated competition laws by banning the app.

Among other reasons for his decision, Chen said the developer can distribute Konverti without going through the App Store.

“Consumers who want Konverti can obtain it through Google Play Store on devices with Android OS,” Chen wrote. “And as plaintiff conceded at the oral argument, Konverti can be configured as an app available on the Internet, as a web-based app, and then accessed through a web browser on an iOS device.”

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The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought last year by app developer Thomas Reilly. He alleged Apple approved Konverti in June of 2017, but banned several weeks later.

Apple allegedly told Reilly the app wasn't safe and that facilitating meetings for currently exchange was “not an appropriate concept” for the App Store.

Reilly said in the complaint that the app transactions facilitated by the app were “very low risk,” writing that they typically involve exchanges of foreign cash by travelers.

“This is the money one would typically put it a bowl at home at the end of a trip and forget about,” the complaint reads.

Chen's ruling allows the developer to amend the complaint and bring it again by no later than February 6.

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