Apple responds to antitrust lawsuit filed by app developers in the UK

Yesterday Reuters reported that Apple is the target of an US$1 billion class action lawsuit brought by more than 1,500 app developers in the UK over the tech giant’s App Store fees. Now the company has responded.

The lawsuit claims that Apple’s 15% to 30% fees for its app stores’ in-app payment system is unfair. The company claims that 85% of App Store developers don’t pay any commission. Apple also says that it helps European developers to access in markets and customers in 175 countries through its app store. 

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.

“Apple’s charges to app developers are excessive, and only possible due to its monopoly on the distribution of apps onto iPhones and iPads,” Ennis said in a statement to Reuters. “The charges are unfair in their own right, and constitute abusive pricing. They harm app developers and also app buyers.”

However, as noted by 9to5Mac, Apple says emphasizing that the judge in the Epic Games case rejected the argument that it has monopolistic powers. The tech giant also says that:

° Developers have the option of creating web apps.

° There are two business models available to developers that involve no commission: ad-funded, and free companion apps to hardware. Apple says that most developers opt for these, and thus pay no commission.

° Since the launch of the Small Business Program, almost all developers who do pay a commission are charged only 15%.

° It has invested heavily in developing and maintaining a global store that is trusted by consumers, and provides huge opportunities for developers.

° It provides developers with value in a whole range of ways, from Xcode, Swift, and training materials, to more than a quarter of a million application programming interfaces.

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