Morgan Stanley: App Store antitrust lawsuit to impact Apple stock price for years

“The fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow an antitrust lawsuit against Apple over an alleged monopoly on iOS apps via the App Store won’t immediately affect the company, suggests Morgan Stanley, but the legal threat could affect the stock value for years,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider. “For the near term, there will be ‘”no fundamental change to how Apple operates the App Store, nor is there any impact to Apple’s profit and loss,’ writes Morgan Stanley in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider.”

“Referencing how Apple management and other storefronts, including Google for the Google Play Store, have ‘vigorously argued that their App Store business model has solid justification,’ the analysts point out the 30% fee Apple applies to most one-time App Store transactions is on a par with traditional retail and commercial IT distribution markets, which operate at a margin of 20% to 30%,” Owen reports.

“Analysts see a ‘range of potential outcomes’ for the situation, but stresses that a final outcome won’t be expected for years. A best-case scenario is for any antitrust lawsuits to be quashed in the court, maintaining the status quo and validating Apple’s arguments. On a ‘bad but not the worst case’ scenario, Apple loses lawsuits and pays monetary damages equivalent to the different between the price paid by consumers and the price determined by the courts to have been payable in a competitive market,” Owen reports. “The last worst-case scenario would ‘entail Apple modifying the App Store business model, either by lowering the 30% take rate they charge or opening up the iOS platform to include other, competing App stores.’”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, it will hang over Apple for years while the naysayers and shorts will add it to their arsenals to use at will, but it’s also being overblown. Even in Morgan Stanley’s worst-case scenario, it doesn’t affect Apple’s earning all that much, especially as more and more services come online, lowering the percentage that the App Store contributes to Apple’s overall services revenue. It also doesn’t take into account new products like Apple Glasses, Apple Car, etc.

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