According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, Apple is being accused of leveraging its monopoly as an app store and digital distribution of services to implement "profit killing" commissions in a class action lawsuit that is being brought forward by app developers. The case will go before the United States District Court for Northern California, where law firm Hagen Berman will represent the app developers. The lawsuit claims that Apple violated federal antitrust law and California competition law.
The lawsuit argument is that Apple, by permitting only its own App Store on iOS devices, deals in anti-competitive practices, which allow the megacorporation to "abuse its market power." Apple takes a 30% commissions on all purchases and in-app transactions that occur through the App Store, as well as its share of subscription fees. Hagen Berman's official statement is available on the firm's official website. Managing partner and representing attorney Steve Berman said these policies come at the "detriment of developers who are forced to use the only platform available to them."
It's not the first that Hagen Berman has tackled Apple over its anti-competitive practices. In 2016, the law firm won a case against the company and other publishers over "colluded price-fixing" of ebooks, with the final settlement of $560 million. With this new lawsuit, the firm plans to end Apple's "abusive monopoly" by opening up competition in the distribution of iOS apps, removing its pricing mandates, and reimbursing developers. Hagen Berman also says the lawsuit is long overdue after 11 years of monopoly.
We think app developers should be rewarded fairly for their creations, not over-taxed by a corporate giant. 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.In related news, earlier this week the United States government also announced an anti-trust investigation into both Apple's and Google's dominance of app stores and developer fees.
What are your thoughts on this lawsuit? Will Apple be legally obligated to give up its monopoly on iOS devices? Let us know in the comments below!