Apple sued in multi-billion euro App Store lawsuit in Europe

Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero
Apple App Store Awards 2021 Hero (Image credit: 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.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9