Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
63,428
30,613


Back in August 2021, Apple agreed to pay $100 million and make changes to the App Store to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against it by developers. Judge Yvonne-Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case, said yesterday that she plans to approve the settlement, but she raised concerns about the amount that attorneys are planning to charge.

iOS-App-Store-General-Feature-Clorange.jpg

As outlined by Law360, Rogers said that she wants more data on the "math" behind the $27 million attorney fee requested, and how much that fee will reduce claims by small developers. She asked for a mathematical breakdown of how much less each class member would receive if she awarded $25 million in attorney fees instead of $27 million.

Rogers said that for some developers, the difference could be significant, which is why she wants to "see the numbers." Apple back in March pointed out that the $27 million fee is higher than the 25 percent benchmark set by the Ninth Circuit Court.

Apple is calling the settlement the Small Developer Assistance Fund, and it began accepting developer claims in January. Developers had until May 20 to submit a claim through the website, and Apple provided several reminders. Developers were able to claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic App Store participation.

There were approximately 67,000 eligible developers. Developers who earned less than $100 will receive the minimum payment of $250, while those who earned more than $1 million will be entitled to a higher-end payment. Minimum payments are subject to change based on the number of total claims.

The settlement stems from a 2019 lawsuit where group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its App Store monopoly to impose "profit-killing" commissions. The developers were unhappy with Apple's 30 percent cut of App Store sales, an issue that was addressed with the App Store Small Business Program that dropped the commission that small developers have to pay to 15 percent.

In addition to paying a $100 settlement fee, Apple agreed to allow developers to use communications like email to share information about payment methods available outside of the App Store, plus Apple expanded the number of price points available to developers for subscriptions.

Apple also pledged to maintain the ‌App Store‌ Small Business Program and ‌App Store‌ search, making no changes for at least three years, with the company also creating an annual transparency report based on ‌App Store‌ data covering app rejections, apps removed from the ‌App Store‌, search information, and more.

The Small Developer Assistance Fund website says that it plans to distribute funds to developers who submitted a "timely and valid claim" as soon as possible.

(Thanks, Yashar!)

Article Link: Judge Approves Apple's $100M Settlement in Developer Lawsuit, But Questions $27M Attorney Fee
 
  • Like
Reactions: BluefinTuna

4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
6,272
7,548
If you can't charge enough for your product to cover the cost of doing business then your product isn't commercially viable.

Summery for those that haven't been paying attention: a few people got upset at Apple but their case wasn't worth any lawyer's time. They pestered other developers until enough people agreed to participate and the revenue they could make was just less than the cost of Apple fighting it.

How about you ask the lawers how many hours they spent on the case and the court awards them that times $12, the minimum wage at the time of the complaint.
 

frenchcamp49er

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2014
662
1,071
If you can't charge enough for your product to cover the cost of doing business then your product isn't commercially viable.

Summery for those that haven't been paying attention: a few people got upset at Apple but their case wasn't worth any lawyer's time. They pestered other developers until enough people agreed to participate whereby the cost of Apple defending was more than what was being asked for.

How about you ask the lawers how many hours they spent on the case and the court awards them that times $12, the minimum wage at the time of the complaint.
Hope they get all $27 million, screw the greedy developers
 

djphat2000

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2012
1,082
1,112
So, Apple can't charge 30%. Which was known and agreed too for some time. However, lawyers can charge 25%?
Is anyone else not seeing this? 27 is too high, she wants 25.
"how much less each class member would receive if she awarded $25 million in attorney fees instead of $27 million."

No issues with that??? Just going to let that walk.
 

4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
6,272
7,548
So, Apple can't charge 30%. Which was known and agreed too for some time. However, lawyers can charge 25%?
Is anyone else not seeing this? 27 is too high, she wants 25.
"how much less each class member would receive if she awarded $25 million in attorney fees instead of $27 million."

No issues with that??? Just going to let that walk.
How would this need to be structured so that the lawers lose money taking on the case but the developers get less than two figures?
 

Karma*Police

macrumors 68030
Jul 15, 2012
2,513
2,849
Ah, lawyers who got promoted pretending to not side with the lawyers by asking if their fees should be reduced from $27mm to $25mm.

So the devs who signed an agreement with Apple to give them a 30% cut turns around and sues Apple because they took a 30% cut?

And the lawyers are taking a 27% cut… does no one see the irony and hypocrisy in all of this? Truly a clown world we’re living in.
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,576
1,887
Great job, judge! 30+ % on contingency fee structure is ridiculous. This case probably did not take that much effort for plaintiff’s attorneys, either, considering it didn’t even get to real litigation stage to begin with.
It’s amusing that it’s ~30%, when the App Store fee the developers were complaining about was 30%. I guess someone’s always gonna take their 30% cut! ;)
 

pdaholic

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2011
1,835
2,544
Ffs America is so dumb you can sue anyone or company for any reason
Yep. The best is a medical malpractice lawsuit. The defending health care worker is going against a lay jury and lawyers that know nothing about medicine, and “expert witnesses” that accept payment to bend the truth to the plaintiff’s narrative. The American justice system is a joke.
 

developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
771
1,003
The settlement is BS. Glad my companies are NOT members of the settlement class. We maintain all future rights to legal action.
The main problem is if an eligible developer did nothing they are automatically included in the class. That may seem like a reasonable "Default" option, but the settlement binds class members to making affirmative statements asserting Apple conducted the App Store fairly and properly. It goes against the spirit of a "right to remain silent". Crummy.
I'd have no problem with the settlement if it ONLY included developers who actively took action to participate (file a claim).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saturn007

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
1,576
1,887
I'd have no problem with the settlement if it ONLY included developers who actively took action to participate (file a claim).
Well, it IS a class action lawsuit, the whole idea of them is that a couple of litigants sue for damages on behalf of a whole class of aggrieved individuals. Generally you do have to opt out of them to be able to make your case outside of the settlement or if you don’t want to be considered part of the aggrieved class for whatever reason.

And, of course, the plaintiff lawyers want as many people in the class as possible, so they can take more fees, naturally.
 

developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
771
1,003
Well, it IS a class action lawsuit, the whole idea of them is that a couple of litigants sue for damages on behalf of a whole class of aggrieved individuals. Generally you do have to opt out of them to be able to make your case outside of the settlement or if you don’t want to be considered part of the aggrieved class for whatever reason.
Understand, but the part where class members are bound to affirmative statements is troubling. If a developer who never filed a claim makes any public statement in the future contrary to the those statements, they can be sued for breaching the settlement.
 

6h0s1

macrumors newbie
Oct 8, 2021
4
12
I missed the claim date by 3 days, still emailed them my claim but never heard a response.

The whole processes was such BS that if you miss the date you can never sue or have access to claims. The lawyers were supposed to be working for us but instead of automatically becoming eligible like every other class action they made a weird process where you had to opt in.

Honestly I thought it was a scam so ignored the letter they sent and then didn’t realize until I started reading articles about it.
 

developer13245

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2012
771
1,003
I missed the claim date by 3 days, still emailed them my claim but never heard a response.

The whole processes was such BS that if you miss the date you can never sue or have access to claims. The lawyers were supposed to be working for us but instead of automatically becoming eligible like every other class action they made a weird process where you had to opt in.

Honestly I thought it was a scam so ignored the letter they sent and then didn’t realize until I started reading articles about it.
By doing absolutely nothing, you took an affirmative action and state:
"expressly release any claim, contention, argument, or theory that the commissions charged by Apple on paid downloads or in-app purchases of digital content (including subscription) through the App Store are supracompetitive, inflated, or otherwise set at unlawful amounts."

Congratulations. If you ever complain or even theorize about such things, Apple can now sue you for breech.

Apple had the right to dump the settlement if more than 10% of developers choose to exclude themselves from the class. Yet doing nothing put you in the class. This is the biggest sign that Apple wanted to eliminate the number of developers who can complain in the future. It's really a muzzle in disguise.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.