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

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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.

Article Link: Developers Sue Apple Over App Store Fees in Latest Class Action Lawsuit
 
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mm1250

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2007
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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.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,840
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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.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
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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
 

macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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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

Apple should charge customers to enter the app store like Costco.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
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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.
No its not cos you have thousands of burger places who make the competition.
But just two app stores
 

Heineken

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Jan 27, 2018
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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.
You make no sense whatsoever.
 

Tivoli_

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2017
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Probably the lawsuit is from developers whose apps are not making enough money. I wonder if the app developers would pass on some of the savings to the buyers if Apple reduces its commission.
 
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genovelle

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2008
991
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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.
The difference with windows is they didn’t create a platform for their own devices, they made a software to run on 3rd party hardware and then demanded they did not support other software on their own devices. Apple owns their whole platform and can shutdown the entire store making it Apple only at any time. Then a selfish group of useless developers will have caused the demise of millions of developers and users who depend on their extremely fair system in comparison to what was before. To get on Xbox or Sony PlayStation required a $70,000 a year license and a 70% commission instead of $99 and 30%. 1% of the current developers could participate.
 
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verpeiler

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May 11, 2013
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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.
 

Karma*Police

macrumors 68000
Jul 15, 2012
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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
Conversely, if Apple didn’t spend billions to invent, promote and educate the masses about the modern smartphone, app developers would most likely be where they were pre-iPhone... getting paid peanuts and/or focused on developing for Mac and Windows.
 

BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
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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 rather than forbidding them from even considering alternative app distribution models.

I do agree having an app approval process does provide a good measure of quality control and protection for users so here's what I propose - have a voluntary app certification program where developers can submit their apps to Apple, which would then undergo the same process as current App Store approval but allow those certified apps to be signed as "Apple Certified" and distributed elsewhere. Apple could charge a significant premium for this service. This would allow developers to choose which economic model they want - for small developers it would make sense to avoid the certification fee and infrastructure costs by using the App Store, whereas larger developers could use the certification program and distribute apps on their own.
 
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Heineken

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Jan 27, 2018
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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 rather than forbidding them from even considering alternative app distribution models.

I do agree having an app approval process does provide a good measure of quality control and protection for users so here's what I propose - have a voluntary app certification program where developers can submit their apps to Apple, which would then undergo the same process as current App Store approval but allow those certified apps to be signed as "Apple Certified" and distributed elsewhere. Apple could charge a significant premium for this service. This would allow developers to choose which economic model they want - for small developers it would make sense to avoid the certification fee and infrastructure costs by using the App Store, whereas larger developers could use the certification program and distribute apps on their own.
There is enough garbage on the App Store as it is.
 
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Justanotherfanboy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2018
548
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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.
 

MadDawg2020

macrumors regular
Jun 20, 2012
162
157
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?!
 

omglolbbq

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2016
32
165
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.
But Wal-Mart doesn’t stop any other stores from operating in that town. They just make it un-appealing.
 

ravenstar

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2005
199
341
So we get to rehash this again. Apple isn't a monopoly, doesn't even have dominant market share, and isn't in any way attempting to impede development for competing devices or OSs. Just because the minority of customers that seem to pay any reasonable sum of money for apps do business through the App store, Apple should give up its business?

We all should be very afraid if this lawsuit is successful as it will mean that if we're successful (for some arbitrary definition of successful) we must give up control of our property.
 

Unregistered 4U

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
597
323
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.
 

BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
1,251
7,212
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.
Actually, "deciding with your wallet" has a larger scope than just the narrow buy-or-don't-buy-at-all decision.
 

jay_app

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2004
31
38
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 no way are you creating a monopoly. Any developer is free to not make apps for the store. The reason they will not stop is because they make lots of money being in Apple’s store. Apple is asking what they have always asked for - developers are trying to force a better deal so they can make more money. Prices have stayed very low to consumers because of extremely robust competition of the App Store. A monopoly has little to no competition - example: Google search.
 

bjoswald

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2016
206
225
Florida
Apple’s market, Apple’s price. If you can’t compete, get your own or quit crying. There’s a reason the App Store is popular, and it’s certainly not the commission. Get over it.

By the way, no one cries over Microsoft or Android’s market commission.