Apple must face $1 billion lawsuit over claims of unfair UK App Store developer fees, judge rules

App Store Iphone 13 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has failed in its bid to have a lawsuit valued at almost $1 billion dismissed after a judge ruled that it must face allegations that its App Store commission rules are unfair to more than 1,500 UK developers.

Filed at London's Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the lawsuit was first filed in 2023 and takes umbrage with Apple's 30% cut of all App Store sales. It's important to note that despite being in the continent of Europe, the UK is not part of the European Union and third-party app marketplaces are not available as a result, leaving the App Store the only game in town for UK iPhone owners and developers.

Apple is accused of abusing its dominant market position and Sean Ennis, a competition law professor and economist who is at the forefront of the case, seeks damages as a result.

Unfair commission

Reuters reports that Judge Andrew Lenon ruled against throwing out the lawsuit in a written ruling last week.

Lenon said that lawyers had a realistic prospect of establishing that "Apple's overcharging of commission to app developers based in the UK in relation to commerce transacted on non-UK storefronts did amount to conduct implemented in the UK", Reuters reports.

Apple has long found its App Store policies under fire around the world, with the EU's Digital Markets Act so far the biggest attempt by lawmakers to force Apple to offer alternative options. Apple must allow EU-based iPhone owners to install third-party app marketplaces as well as allow app developers to offer their products for download via their own websites.

While all of that only applies to EU member countries, others could well be following the impact of the DMA before considering rolling similar rules out themselves.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Wotchered said:
    A judge has decided that Apple must face a UK lawsuit worth almost $1 billion over claims the App Store's commission fees are unfair.

    Apple must face $1 billion lawsuit over claims of unfair UK App Store developer fees, judge rules : Read more

    It's astonishing how many people have nothing better to do than to try and make a name for themselves by being a nuisance. I wonder what the percentage of iPhone owners over 14 care about this.