Apple Seeks Dismissal of $1 Billion Mass Lawsuit Over App Store Commissions
Tech giant Apple is currently facing a mass lawsuit filed by over 1,500 app developers over fees charged by its App Store, amounting to a staggering $1 billion. The lawsuit, filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in London, accuses Apple of charging unfair commissions from third-party developers, with fees going up to 30 percent on the purchases of apps or other content.
Competition law professor and former economist at the OECD, Sean Ennis, is leading the case, alleging that the company has abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of apps on its devices. The developers seeking damages are primarily based in the UK. However, Apple has defended itself by stating that 85 percent of developers on its App Store pay no commission.
In response to the lawsuit, Apple’s lawyers are seeking for the case to be dismissed, arguing that the claims are “unsustainable.” They also stated that developers cannot have a claim in the UK unless they were charged on purchases made through the UK App Store, thus limiting the scope of the lawsuit.
In addition to this ongoing legal battle, Apple is also facing another mass lawsuit over App Store commissions on behalf of around 20 million UK users. This case has been scheduled for a hearing in 2022. The company is also contending a separate case over allegedly defective iPhone batteries, which is on behalf of approximately 24 million iPhone users and is expected to come to trial after 2025.
The opinion on this matter is divided, with some arguing that Apple’s commission fees are fair given the services it provides to developers, while others believe the fees are unjust and hinder healthy competition in the app marketplace. As the legal battles continue, the outcome of these lawsuits will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the future of the App Store and Apple’s business practices.
(With Reuters Inputs)