The major class action has been brought by application developers over alleged monopolistic behavior
More than 1,500 app developers in the UK filed a £785 million ($1 billion) class action lawsuit against tech giant Apple on Tuesday over its App Store fees.
The lawsuit was filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal, with the developers claiming that Apple’s 30% charge on in-app sales discourages competition.
“Apple’s charges to app developers are excessive, and only possible due to its monopoly on the distribution of apps onto iPhones and iPads,” said Sean Ennis, a professor at the University of East Anglia and a former economist at the OECD, who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the developers.
“The charges are unfair in their own right, and constitute abusive pricing. They harm app developers and also app buyers,” Ennis claimed.
Apple has refuted the accusations, arguing that its App Store fees are reasonable and contribute to a high-quality user experience. It has also insisted that it abides by all the relevant legislation.
Apple charges 15% to 30% commissions for the use of in-app payment systems. The tech behemoth’s service business has experienced revenue growth of approximately $20 billion per quarter in recent years.
However, the company’s practices have drawn the attention of antitrust regulators in several countries. In 2021, Apple was hit with a €13 billion fine ($14.9 billion), plus interest, by the European Commission over anti-competitive behavior on its App Store. The US Department of Justice is also suing the tech firm, claiming Apple has exploited its position of power in the smartphone market.
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