Apple announced plans in August to pay $100 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by US developers, and as of today, the website that allows developers to file a claim for a payout went live.
The $100 million that Apple has provided will be distributed as part of a “Small Developer Assistance Fund,” and developers can claim anywhere from $250 to $30,000 based on their historical participation in the App Store. Claims can now be submitted through the Small Developer Assistance website, which also includes payment estimation tools.
Eligible US developers must meet the following app criteria:
- Was sold at a non-zero price;
- Was sold through Apple’s iOS “App Store” between 2015 and 2021; and
- Along with any other iOS applications or in-app products (including subscriptions) sold through all your linked developer accounts, $1,000,000.00 or less in revenue through the “App Store” US sales platform in every calendar year from 2015 to 2021 in which you had a developer account.
According to the comparison, there are about 67,000 eligible developers. Developers who have earned less than $100 will receive a potential minimum payment of $250, while those who have earned more than $1,000,000 will be eligible for a $30,000 payment. Minimum payments may change based on the total number of claims.
The lawsuit dates back to 2019, when a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its “App Store” monopoly to collect “profit-destroying” commissions. The lawsuit contested Apple’s 30 percent cut in “App Store” sales and was largely addressed with the announcement of the App Store Small Business Program in late 2020, which reduced the commission small developers must pay to 15 percent.
In addition to paying developers $100 million, Apple also agreed to a few other concessions. Perhaps the biggest concession will be Apple allowing developers to use communications like email to share information about payment methods available outside of iOS apps. Developers do not pay Apple any commission for purchases made outside of the “App Store”.
Apple is also expanding the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions, and the company has agreed to keep the “App Store” small business program and “App Store” search and make no changes for at least three years. Apple also vowed to continue offering developers the ability to appeal an app disapproval, and it will produce an annual transparency report based on data from the “App Store,” which removed app disapprovals from the “App Store.” Includes apps, search information and more.
Developers must submit claims by May 20, 2022 to receive payment from Apple, and there will be a final approval hearing on June 7, 2022. The actual payout date depends on whether there are objections and how long it takes to resolve those objections and whether the agreement is finally approved by the court.