Brit sues Apple on commission and seeks compensation for UK users

A British university lecturer has gone to a British tribunal to receive a class-action-like lawsuit against Apple. The teacher calls the 30 percent commission that Apple asks from app makers unlawful and demands compensation for all British Apple users.

The group that filed the case on Monday claims according to the BBC that it is the customers who ultimately have to pay for Apple’s 30 percent commission in the App Store. Therefore, users should receive compensation. In addition, the group claims that Apple is deliberately excluding potential competitors and that it is forcing users to use Apple’s own payment system.

With this payment system, Apple would make ‘unlawful profits’, the group claims. The group is headed by Rachael Kent, Assistant Professor of Digital Economics at King’s College London University. Apple’s actions would be in violation of competition law, so the British could receive compensation, Kent argues. The total compensation could amount to converted 1.74 billion euros, the group thinks.

The group has gone to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for the case. This British tribunal decides whether the case can go ahead and whether it can be seen as a collective case. In the event that this becomes a class action, anyone who has ever purchased an app, app subscription or in-app purchase in the UK through the App Store could be covered by the class action. The class actions are then opt-out; people must therefore explicitly indicate that they do not want to participate.

Apple contradicts the allegations made by Kent and her group. The company says the lawsuit is “deserving” and says the 30 percent commission is normal in digital markets. There are now multiple lawsuits and legal proceedings pending surrounding that commission and Apple’s alleged distortion of competition. Earlier, the European Commission accused Apple of distorting competition. This topic is also central to the lawsuit between Epic and Apple