US tech giant Apple is being targeted by a class action lawsuit seeking over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,200 crore) in damages from developers angry about the high price it charges to market apps to users of its products, organisers said Tuesday.
The lawsuit was launched by competition professor Sean Ennis at the University of East Anglia on behalf of 1,500 British app developers.
“Apple has abused its dominant market position by charging an excessive ‘commission’ — typically 30 percent — on apps and in-app purchases of digital content,” said a statement released by the university.
Apple has faced scrutiny in the United States and Europe regarding its hold over its App Store and the inability of app developers to sell directly to the tech giant’s customers.
“Apple has a dominant position in the market for app distribution on iOS devices since the App Store is the only available channel for distributing apps to iOS device users,” Ennis said.
“The charges are unfair in their own right and constitute abusive pricing. They harm app developers and also app buyers,” said the statement.
The lawsuit is seeking 785 million pounds ($1.0 billion) in compensation for the British developers.
Apple, for its part, points out that developers can make offers to users via any web browser, without going through the App Store.
The California company also asserts that the majority of developers pay no commission to Apple, and insists that most applications are only subject to a 15 percent commission, thanks to exceptions for small businesses in particular.
© Thomson Reuters 2023