An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City
Source: Reuters

Apple is sued by French app developers over app store fees

Apple logo seen at window
Apple is sued by French app developers over app store fees.
Source: The Economic Times

This week, big tech Apple Inc was sued by app developers of French origin on August 1. This was as they alleged that the tech giant was in violation of US antitrust law as they charged the developers more for the use of its app store. Société du Figaro stands as one of the plaintiffs in this proposed class action.

The Société du Figaro is responsible for the development of the Figaro news app, along with L’Équipe 24/24. In turn, L’Équipe 24/24 is responsible for developing L’Équipe sports news, along with its streaming applications. Moreover, Société du Figaro is responsible for the development of Le Geste, which is a crucial alliance of content providers in French.

This particular complaint was filed in the Oakland federal court in California this week. As specified by it, the iPhone maker evidently exploited its monopoly advantages it holds for the distribution of applications on mobiles working on iOS. It reportedly did this establishing the rule for only one app store to function in its iOS devices.

Further disclosures from the complaint:

According to the complaint, the tech giant, based in California’s Cupertino, has taken the help of the one store mandate to charge elaborate commissions. As specified by the plaintiffs, it allowed Apple Inc to charge commissions for fourteen years of about 30%, which they referred to as ‘supracompetitive.’ Along with this, it also charged an annual fees of $99 to the app developers as they faced struggles with innovations and consumer choice.

Further, it stated how the actions of the iPhone makers had no suitable business requirement, or ‘pro-competitive justification.’  It stated how the tech giant’s actions are put in place to facilitate the destruction of competition. As of now, Apple has not responded to any requests made for a comment on the situation.

Essentially , the complaint demands an injunction against any further anticompetitive actions. Along with it, triple damages for the violation of federal antitrust laws, along with California state laws. The law firm representing the party is Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in the US, along with Fayrouze Masmi-Davi in Paris.

This suit is somewhat identical to a previous case between Hagen Berman and the tech giant. This was in August 2021 when the end result landed a settlement worth $100 million for smaller developers with the company which referred to the commission as rather ‘excessive.’