Apple seeks dismissal of $1 billion UK lawsuit over App Store fees

Image Source: Apple

Apple is pushing for the dismissal of a substantial lawsuit, estimated at around $1 billion, filed by over 1,500 app developers, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The case, with a potential worth of £785 million ($998 million), contends that Apple imposed unfair commissions of up to 30% on third-party developers for app and content purchases on its App Store.

Led by competition law professor Sean Ennis, the lawsuit was brought before the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) last year. Ennis and his legal team argue that Apple, in its dominant position in the app distribution market, subjected developers to unjust fees. The aim is to secure damages for developers based in the UK.

Apple counters these claims by asserting that a significant majority—85%—of developers on its App Store are not subject to any commission charges. The tech giant is urging the CAT to dismiss the case, asserting its unsustainability. Daniel Piccinin, Apple’s lawyer, argues that developers cannot substantiate a claim in the UK unless they were levied charges for purchases made through the UK App Store. According to Apple, this would only be applicable to a small minority of the claimants.

However, Paul Stanley, representing Ennis, countered in court filings that Apple “has come to the UK to offer services to UK businesses on a UK market and has abused its position by overcharging them.” The legal battle brings into focus the contentious issue of app store fees and the perceived dominance of tech giants in the digital distribution landscape. The outcome of this case could have broader implications for the tech industry and its relationships with app developers.

Written by Maya Robertson


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