Developers Sue Apple Over App Store Fees in Latest Class Action Lawsuit

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from iOS developers who claim that the company uses its monopoly in the App Store to impose "profit-killing" commissions.

Filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, the lawsuit argues that the tech giant's practice of instating a 30 percent commission rate on all app sales is anticompetitive and "sets the stage for Apple to abuse its market power."

The suit also takes aim at Apple's minimum $0.99 price requirement for paid apps in the App Store and in-app purchases, as well as the annual $99 Apple Developer fee, calling these policies "especially damaging to smaller and new developers."
"Between Apple's 30 percent cut of all App Store sales, the annual fee of $99 and pricing mandates, Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the proposed class of developers. "In a competitive landscape, this simply would not happen."

"Today's lawsuit seeks to force Apple to end its abusive monopoly and allow competition in the distribution of iOS apps and related products, to get rid of its pricing mandates, and to reimburse developers for overcharges made through abuse of its monopoly power."

"We think app developers should be rewarded fairly for their creations, not over-taxed by a corporate giant," Berman said. "After 11 years of monopoly conduct and profits, we think it's high time that a court examine Apple's practices on behalf of iOS app developers and take action as warranted by the law and facts."
Hagens Berman won a suit against Apple and various publishing companies in 2016 that settled for a total of $560 million on behalf of e-book purchasers, who said they were forced to pay "artificially high prices due to Apple and the publishing companies' colluded price-fixing." That suit went to the Supreme Court, where the Court ruled against Apple.

The latest class action accuses Apple of violating federal antitrust law and California's unfair competition law.



Top Rated Comments

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11 weeks ago
This is idiotic. Every store front charges a percent of sale price. It’s how retail works. If Walmart is the only supermarket in town, a common situation nowadays, are they forbidden for taking a percent of sale?

I like the $99 fee. If it was free, there would be endless junkware in the App Store...and there is quite a bit today showing how low of a barrier 99 bucks is.
Rating: 22 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Abusive monopoly? They haven’t done anything wrong. They’re very clear what prices they’re going to charge you. It’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac for $4 and getting mad at them for charging you sales tax.
Rating: 15 Votes
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11 weeks ago

In my opinion a 30% fee is not enough! It is apple’s store they can charge whatever they want. I’d double the fee to 60% until developers learn that it’s a privilege to be able to make apps for apple


Boy, I hope you are kidding. I don't know where you work, but your salary should decrease until you learn it's a privilege to work there.
Rating: 15 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Do Developers realize Apple pays to build, host and maintain a worldwide network of servers; Apple pays to write, maintain and distribute the SKD’s and other tools Developers use to create apps; Apple pays write, maintain and distribute the OS’s used worldwide that run all the Apps developers write.

So Developers, just expect Apple to do all these things for free?!
Rating: 11 Votes
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11 weeks ago
I agree with the lawsuit.

Just like macOS and ms windows. If your not allowing apps to be installed outside your App Store than your creating a monopoly that forces everyone to go through you to install apps on their phones. Hence creating an increase in price to the consumer.
Rating: 10 Votes
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11 weeks ago

In my opinion a 30% fee is not enough! It is apple’s store they can charge whatever they want. I’d double the fee to 60% until developers learn that it’s a privilege to be able to make apps for apple

Come on. The iphone lives also from non apple apps. Its a win win.
If all app developers would pull their apps at the same time the iphone would be dead
Rating: 7 Votes
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11 weeks ago

I'll repeat my post from an earlier related story:

If Apple's App Store is as good as Apple claims, including their assertions of value, security, and convenience, then let it stand on its own merit and allow consumers decide with their wallets

Unfortunately, what you don’t understand is that “deciding with your wallet” in this case means NOT BUYING APPLE PRODUCTS. Millions do it every day, which is why Android is the number one selling smartphone OS.
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 weeks ago

I agree with the lawsuit.

Just like macOS and ms windows. If your not allowing apps to be installed outside your App Store than your creating a monopoly that forces everyone to go through you to install apps on their phones. Hence creating an increase in price to the consumer.



I’m not following you in the least...

Apple sets the minimum paid app price at 99¢. Are you saying that you think there’s a huge amount of developers that believe their app is worth at most, 50¢ & are frustrated at charging more???
Tough sell.
Or are you saying that you think Apple creating the ecosystem for these apps to exist, curating the apps, paying for storage & delivery for these apps, checking for ill intent app activity, creating & handling the updating mechanisms for these apps and delivering them to the end user, etc. is all of zero value & they should not be allowed to keep app quality at the level they choose.... and anyone should have the same access as Apple, to push updates and data to iPhones at any time & in any way, completely undermining all their quality control & privacy efforts??
Another tough sell.

I have a hard time believing that if there was a 2nd uncurated optional App Store that was the wild wild west; populated by 50¢ apps solely created by developers that see no value in safety, security, dev tools, etc. & see no value in anything Apple does, and are seemingly 100% motivated by greed- that you’d ever frequent it, nor recommend it to family or friends.
Rating: 6 Votes
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11 weeks ago

Abusive monopoly? They haven’t done anything wrong. They’re very clear what prices they’re going to charge you. It’s like going to McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac for $4 and getting mad at them for charging you sales tax.

This comparison is wrong on so many levels. First, you can buy food in many places, not just McDonalds. And what has sales tax to do with that at all?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a complex matter and I think it’s more grey than just black and white. But stupid comparisons won’t help.
Rating: 5 Votes
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11 weeks ago
In my opinion a 30% fee is not enough! It is apple’s store they can charge whatever they want. I’d double the fee to 60% until developers learn that it’s a privilege to be able to make apps for apple
Rating: 5 Votes
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