Apple faces a class-action lawsuit from iOS developers who are unhappy with the rates charged in the App Store. It’s a collective case, leaving the lawsuit open to any developer who has ever sold an iOS app in the US.
The accompanying law firm’s press release states that Apple has cornered the iOS app market with its App Store and “consciously used its monopoly to implement profit-taking commissions and fees for the very developers who bring Apple’s products to life.” According to the lawyers, Apple violates competition rules by requiring only a single app store for iOS devices, which “allows the company to abuse its market power.” It also states that consumers never see most apps because they have to appear in a marketplace, which would hurt competition and innovation.
There is talk of the thirty percent that Apple withholds on all apps sold and things purchased within the apps. In addition, the drafters complain about the point that Apple would set an artificial minimum price level of 99 cents for certain apps and in-app products. In addition, the law firm that Apple dictates that all paid purchases within the App Store must end with 99 cents after the decimal point. Also mentioned is the annual Apple Developer fee of $99, which developers have to pay to distribute their apps, which would especially harm smaller developers.
These complaints largely correspond to the earlier statements of Spotify founder Daniel Ek. He went public in March, openly complaining about the App Store terms, which he believes contribute to unfair competition. Among other things, he discussed the rate of thirty percent. Spotify has filed an official complaint with the European Commission, although it remains to be seen whether the competition watchdog will open an official investigation. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager recently said that the application is still under review and that it has outstanding questions in the market, including Apple, Reuters wrote. Once Apple has responded, Vestager may disclose more about what happens to Spotify’s complaint.
The law firm Hagens Bermans, which specializes in collective cases, has previously achieved a positive result in a case against Apple, in which the Cupertino company and other publishers decided to settle for $ 560 million. That case was brought by buyers of e-books. They felt they had to pay artificially inflated prices for their digital books, because Apple and other publishers had matched prices. The US Supreme Court ruled against Apple and other e-book sellers.