1,500 developers just sued Apple for $1 billion — here's why

Apple store
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been hit with a lawsuit for $1 billion from more than 1,500 app developers in the UK angered over App Store fees.

According to Reuters, "The UK lawsuit at the Competition Appeal Tribunal is being brought by Sean Ennis, a professor at the Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia and a former economist at the OECD, on behalf of 1,566 app developers."

The developers are angered and upset over the high 15% to 30% commissions they are charged for placing their apps on the App Store. These high commission rates have been accused of breaking antitrust laws.

Ennis said in a statement, "Apple's charges to app developers are excessive, and only possible due to its monopoly on the distribution of apps onto iPhones and iPads."

"The charges are unfair in their own right and constitute abusive pricing. They harm app developers and also app buyers."

The issue at stake is the same hot-button topic that fueled the massive Epic Games Fortnite lawsuit, which has led to Epic removing the game entirely from Apple's App Store.

Epic Games sued Apple over the huge commissions on the App Store in 2020, and since then, there have been numerous extra lawsuits as the companies go back and forth, but the problem remains, and Fortnite is still inaccessible on iPhone without some workarounds.

Apple's $1 billion problem

This would not be the first time Apple has been hit with antitrust lawsuits. Earlier this year, Apple was hit with a lawsuit in Italy for favoring its own apps and making it more difficult for users to use third-party applications by placing more prompts and causing more friction than needed.

Like most big businesses, lawsuits and accusations pop up almost daily for a company like Apple. We'll likely learn more about this particular class action lawsuit in the coming weeks as it unfolds.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.