Apple has been slammed with a $2 billion UK lawsuit over the App Store fees by Epic Games.
Epic Games doesn't seem to be the only company suing Apple over the App Store's terms of service; the App Store payments are also the subject of a potentially expensive class-action lawsuit.
Highlights of the story:
- Apple is being sued in the United Kingdom over its App Store fees.
- The case, if successful, could cost Apple $2 billion in damages.
- Apple has been accused of enforcing access to "the world of apps jeopardized."
UK Class Action worth $2 Billion over Apple App Store Commissions
The case, which was filed in London's Competition Appeal Tribunal, is aimed at Apple's App Store commission prices. Through selling applications and subscriptions via the App Store, Apple takes 30% of all sales, which drops to 15% after a subscriber's second year.
Claimants claim that this commission leads to higher rates for customers who buy paid applications and subscriptions, according to legal records. Claimants claim that Apple overcharged nearly 20 million consumers who purchased applications and subscriptions from the UK App Store, according to reports from the BBC News and the News and Star.
In a tweet, Dr. Rachel Kent, a digital economy expert and lecturer at King's College who is spearheading the collective action, said:
"Apple guards access to the apps world jealously and imposes entirely arbitrary entry and subscription fees. This is monopolistic conduct, and it is unacceptable. The use of apps by ordinary people is increasing all the time, and our reliance on this technology has grown even more in the last year.
And even this -
"Apple does not have any right to charge us a 30% rent for so much of what we pay for on our phones, particularly when Apple is restricting our access to platforms and developers that can provide us with much better offers."
The class-action case could result in damages of up to 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion) in damages. Customers in the United Kingdom who have not purchased paid applications, subscriptions, or in-app purchases on an iPhone or iPad since October 2015 are not eligible for this compensation.
What is Apple's reaction?
The legal complaint was labeled "meritless" by Apple in a statement.
"We believe this case is without substance, and we appreciate the opportunity to address our unwavering dedication to customers and the many benefits the App Store has brought to the UK's innovation economy with the court. The App Store's commission is in line with that of all other digital marketplaces.
This has been Apple's role from the beginning.
"In reality, 84% of apps on the App Store are free, with developers receiving no compensation from Apple. The vast majority of developers who pay Apple a fee because they are selling a digital product or service are eligible for a 15 percent commission rate."
In the United States, Apple is facing a big legal battle brought by Epic Games.
Apple is accused of anti-competitive practices by not having other app stores on the iPhone and using the App Store commission to stifle competition, according to the Fortnite creator.