US technology company Apple is facing a class action lawsuit in Britain over App Store fees. The lawsuit, which is backed by more than 1,500 app developers, sees the fees as excessive and seeks £785 million (roughly CZK 22 billion) in damages, Reuters reported.
Apple’s services division, which includes the App Store, has seen its revenues grow rapidly in recent years. These are now around $20 billion (roughly CZK 435 billion) per quarter. However, the 15 to 30 percent fees the company charges some app makers for using its payment system have been the target of criticism from developers. Antitrust authorities in several countries are also looking into them.
Apple is best known for its iPhone smartphones and iPad computer tablets. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 1 566 app developers by Professor Sean Ennis of the Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia.
Abuse of monopoly
“The fees Apple charges app developers are excessive, which is only possible because of its monopoly on the distribution of apps on iPhones and iPads,” said Ennis. “These fees are unfair in and of themselves and represent an unfair pricing policy. They harm both app developers and app buyers,” he added.
Apple has previously stated that 85 percent of developers in the App Store pay no fees. Apple says it helps European developers access markets and customers in 175 countries around the world through the App Store.