Apple Seeks Dismissal of $1 Billion Lawsuit Over App Store Commission
American tech giant Apple is currently facing a mass lawsuit filed by more than 1,500 app developers over the fees charged by its App Store, amounting to a whopping $1 billion. The developers are accusing Apple of charging unfair commissions of up to 30 percent over the purchases of apps or other content. The case, which is being spearheaded by competition law professor and former economist at the OECD Sean Ennis, was filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London a year ago and seeks damages for the developers, who are mainly based in the UK.
Apple has defended itself by stating that 85 percent of developers on its App Store actually pay no commission. The company’s lawyers are seeking for the case to be dismissed, claiming it to be “unsustainable”. In response, Daniel Piccinin, representing Apple, argued that developers cannot have a claim in the UK unless they were charged on purchases made through the UK App Store. This would mean that the claim would only apply to a small portion of the developers.
Additionally, before this development, Apple was already facing a mass lawsuit over App Store commissions brought on behalf of around 20 million UK users, which has been given the green light for a hearing in 2022. The tech behemoth is also tangled in a separate case over allegedly defective iPhone batteries, which is on behalf of around 24 million iPhone users and is expected to come to trial after 2025.
Opinions on the matter have been varied, with some believing that Apple’s practices are indeed unfair and abusive, while others argue that the company is simply exercising its dominance in the market. It remains to be seen how the court will rule on the matter and what implications it may have for the future of app distribution and commission fees.