A class action lawsuit filed in the UK wants to force Apple to compensate users for potentially inflated app prices.
Until recently, Apple received a 30 percent commission on all app sales. Most app developers find the cut unjustifiable, and critics believe it is an abuse of Apple’s dominance.
Apple claims the legal action is “unfounded”.
Similar criticism has been made of other app stores, but Apple’s influence on the operating system means users have no other alternative to source apps.
Apple estimates the App Store will cost around £ 71 million a year to run, up from £ 10.6 billion last year.
iOS developers have had to raise their prices to offset Apple’s cut.
The fundamental problem for us is the lack of choice, ”Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, wrote in a letter last year. “And Phil Schiller’s suggestion to raise prices for iOS customers to make up for Apple’s extra margin is antitrust gold.”
The case filed with the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) could include nearly 20 million UK users. Claims for damages of up to £ 1.5 billion will be made.
Opt-out claims have been permitted via CAT since 2015. This means that all UK users who have purchased apps or paid for in-app purchases or subscriptions on an iPhone or iPad since October 2015 can be included, unless they specifically choose not to be.
However, the CAT must first approve the class action.
Apple is currently facing antitrust proceedings around the world, including in the US and the EU. One of the most famous cases is Epic Games, which claims that Apple’s guidelines prevent price competition from being involved.
Epic Games tried to bring this case to the UK, but CAT turned it down.
Apple has taken a few steps in the right direction over the past few months. The new small business program reduces Apple’s decline in sales in the App Store from 30 percent to 15 percent (for all iOS developers who generate sales of less than $ 1 million per year).
Research by the GDC has shown that most developers think a 15 percent cut is fair.
(Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash)
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