Apple Hit With Multibillion-Euro Lawsuit for 'Overcharging' App Store Users

Apple is facing a new multibillion-euro lawsuit out of The Netherlands that alleges the company overcharges users who purchase apps and in-app subscriptions through the App Store and accuses Apple of partaking in "market dominance" and "anti-competitive practices."

iOS App Store General Feature Dock
The foundation spearheading the lawsuit is the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation, which describes itself as "an independent non-profit foundation that is committed to protecting consumers against unfair commercial practices and violations of consumer law."

On its website, the foundation says that Apple, through its ‌App Store‌ policies, is overcharging users who pay for apps and in-app services, adding that users should "demand" refunds for purchases.

By using anti-competitive practices, Apple has been able to charge excessively high prices and impose restrictive conditions. Apple excluded all competition and withheld choice for consumers on their App-store and in-app purchases.

The foundation points to what is commonly referred to as the "Apple tax," a 15% or 30% commission that Apple takes for all digital purchases made on and through the ‌App Store‌. The foundation says that the commission forces developers to increase prices for users. "iPhone and iPad owners pay the price for Apple's App-store abusive monopoly," the foundation states.

Bloomberg reports the foundation believes the lawsuit will lead to upwards of $5.5 billion in damages sought for all EU ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users who have made a purchase through Apple's ‌App Store‌. On its website, the foundation asks customers to join their efforts to "hold Apple accountable."

The new lawsuit is one of several legal battles brewing for Apple in Europe. Apple continues to be fined by the Dutch consumer and markets authority for its failure to comply with a previous ruling, which allows for third-party payment methods for Dutch dating apps. The authority says that despite Apple's announcement and plan to let eligible developers use a third-party payment method for in-app purchases, Apple still fails to comply with the new ruling. Apple has been fined €50 million as a consequence.

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Top Rated Comments

Steve121178 Avatar
28 months ago
No one is forced to buy anything. Those that buy must be clearly happy with the price or why would they choose to make a purchase?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cupcakes2000 Avatar
28 months ago

Quick question, are you happy with your utility prices?

A lot of people buying gas and diesel might differ on that point.
Far cry from the dev charging 99p instead of 70p for a flappy birds app- don’t you think? No one is forced to buy anything from the App Store or from Apple itself. No one is forced to buy an iPhone. And Apple should not be forced to give away anything. It’s business - suck it up.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yellow8 Avatar
28 months ago
I'm happy as a developer and my customers are happy. Isn't it the most important?
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yabeweb Avatar
28 months ago

Quick question, are you happy with your utility prices?
Well isn't that different? One is a "must have" the other one is not.

A lot of people buying gas and diesel might differ on that point.
See above, you need gas, to go to work and grocery shopping, do you really need a game / app?

Love the downvoters, like they really think Utility and Gas are as important / needed as Apps :D.

I would pay for all your apps if you staied 1 week without light /phone / gas / heater / air conditioner using a car and so on :D
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aidoneus Avatar
28 months ago
Are there any examples of app prices coming down with Apple’s cut being reduced to 15%?

If not, I’m not sure this lawsuit makes much sense.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ct2k7 Avatar
28 months ago

No one is forced to buy anything. Those that buy must be clearly happy with the price or why would they choose to make a purchase?
Quick question, are you happy with your utility prices?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)