Developers Sue Apple Inc. for App Store Costs

Updated: June 4, 2019 / 11:54 a.m.

On Tuesday, two app developers took action against Apple Inc over their App Store practices, making allegations similar to those in a lawsuit that was brought on by consumers that the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to proceed.

 

Donald R. Cameron, who is the California-based app developer along with Illinois Pure Sweat Basketball, alleged that Apple had engaged in anticompetitive conduct by only allowing the downloading of iPhone apps through their official App Store. Apple also requires developers to price their apps in different tiers ending in 99 cents and takes up to a 30% commission from developers on the sale of apps.

 

“This practice is analogous to a monopsonist retailer paying artificially low wholesale prices to its suppliers,” the developers said in their suit. “In both paradigms, a competitive market would yield better post-commission or wholesale prices, and fairer profit, for developers’ digital products.”

 

The claims center around the same Apple practices that were highlighted in a lawsuit that was brought up by consumers, claiming that Apple’s practices have artificially inflated the price of software in the App Store.

 

That case has brought up a legal question of whether or not consumers have a right to sue Apple due to developers and not consumers who have a contract with Apple to be in the App Store and pay fees.

 

The tech giant has stated that it enforces its App Store rules equally, regardless of whether it competes with app makers, and that many of the competitors like Microsoft Corp’s email apps are on the App Store.

 

Apple Inc also has claimed that free apps that do not use its billing system are hosted and distributed at no cost to developers beyond a $99 fee to be part of its developer program.

 

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