Apple App Store Awards 2021 HeroSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple is facing another App Store lawsuit.
  • It is being sued by a European consumer group that claims it has overcharged customers.
  • The group says Apple has unlawfully made some 5 billion euros through its App Store.

Apple is being sued by a European Consumer group that claims the company has unlawfully overcharged its customers through the App Store to the tune of five billion euros.

Bloomberg reports:

Apple Inc. was targeted by a Dutch class action lawsuit claiming multibillion-euro damages as the iphone maker's legal battles over apps and in-app purchases continue to mount.

Apple "has taken advantage of its monopoly position" with its 30% fee for every sale from app developers, forcing them to increase their prices, the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation said in a press release on Tuesday.

The suit is worth some $5.5 billion. On its website, the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation says that it is a non-profit foundation "committed to protecting consumers against unfair commercial practices and violations of consumer law." Specifically, regarding its case against Apple, the CCCF states that "consumers have been overcharged 5 billion euros for their app and in-app purchases and should demand a refund," claiming this is a result of Apple reaping "excess profit" by "abusing its market dominance at the expense of European consumers."

The group further alleges that Apple uses "anti-competitive" practices to charge excessively high prices and "impose restrictive conditions", excluding competition and withholding choice for consumers regarding the App Store and in-app purchases.

The action treads similar legal ground to the landmark Epic Games legal battle against Apple, which has moved to appeal after a judge found Apple did not have a monopoly on its iOS app ecosystem and its App Store and payment methods, which it uses on devices like its best iPhone, the iPhone 13, to distribute apps to users and charge fees for purchases made on the platform.

Apple is already some legal bother in the Netherlands, having racked up some $55 million in fines because it has failed to comply with new laws that state dating apps should be able to offer alternative payment methods to customers.