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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 19:51 IST

Apple seeks dismissal of $1 billion app store lawsuit in UK

The company is also facing a separate case over allegedly defective iPhone batteries on behalf of around 24 million iPhone users

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App Store | Image:Unsplash
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App Store commission: American tech behemoth Apple has sought from a London tribunal to dismiss a mass lawsuit filed by over 1,500 app developers over fees charged by its App Store fees, amounting to $1 billion.

The case is one of the several ones Apple faces, let alone in the United Kingdom, wherein the California-based company is accused of charging unfair commissions from third-party developers, up to 30 per cent, over the purchases of apps or other content.

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Competition law professor and former economist at the OECD Sean Ennis is spearheading the case, filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) a year ago.

Ennis’ lawyers allege the company has abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of apps on its devices, seeking damages for the developers who are majory based in the UK.

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Apple defended itself by saying 85 per cent of developers on its App Store pay no commission. 

Apple lawyers seek for the case to be dismissed, asking the CAT to throw it out over being "unsustainable".

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Daniel Piccinin, representing Apple, said developers cannot have a claim in the UK unless they were charged on purchases made through the UK App Store. 

The claim would then apply only to a small chunk or minority of the claimants, the company said.

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In court filings, Ennis' lawyer Paul Stanley said that Apple "has come to the UK to offer services to UK businesses on a UK market and has abused its position by overcharging them".

This implies UK law is applicable to whole case, in its entirety, establishing grounds for it to pertain, he argued.

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Before this development, Apple faces a mass lawsuit over App Store commissions brought on behalf of around 20 million UK users. The case was given a go-ahead for hearing in 2022.

The company is also facing a separate case over allegedly defective iPhone batteries, which is on behalf of around 24 million iPhone users, and was certified last year.

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Apple is fighting both the cases which are expected to come to trial after 2025.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 19:51 IST

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