Another day, another process – and, as has been the keynote of Apple’s recent judicial imbroglios, one more specifically related to Apple’s alleged monopoly practices with the App Store.
The latest case, reported by Yahoo Finance, involves a class action lawsuit against Apple filed by a pair of developers in the Northern California District Court. The plaintiffs ‘reasoning is similar to those we’ve seen previously: according to the complaint, Apple’s and App Store’s policies prevent the creation of a competition-friendly environment, reducing developers’ profit potential.
More specifically, the authors of the case cite some elements that, according to them, are abusive and harmful to developers. Among them, the $ 100 annual fee charged by Apple for developers to register with Apple Developer and to distribute their applications in the App Store, as well as the company’s 30% charge on store sales and the fact that all the apps sold there must have a price ending with the decimal 0.99, which reduces the possibility of different prices (and more attractive).
According to the developers, the justification for Apple’s alleged security of keeping the App Store as the only form of application distribution on iOS is an “exaggerated claim.” The authors argue that the Cupertino giant could allow stores in other major companies, such as Amazon, to run smoothly with their devices while at the same time fostering a more competitive environment.
The law firm representing the developers in the lawsuit is Hagens Berman, who has already opposed Apple in other lawsuits. Lawyers have already won Apple before the court, incidentally: it was in that controversy of price manipulation in iBooks (now renamed to Books, or Books ). Lawyer Steve Berman, one of the firm’s partners, said:
This is not the first time we have challenged Apple’s anticompetitive practices. We have successfully faced the company in the past and made it follow the law; now we want to once again fight for the rights of iOS developers who take their hard work and creativity to the App Store with the right hope of monetizing their creations.
Apple has not commented on the case, but we will be attentive to possible developments in this story.