Apple facing new $5.5 billion App Store antitrust lawsuit in the Netherlands

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has been hit with a new class action lawsuit in the Netherlands alleging that it abuses its monopoly position with its 30% App Store commission.

App Store on iPhone
App Store on iPhone


The Dutch complaint claims that Apple's 30% cut of app and in-app purchases on the App Store amounts to monopolistic behavior and forces developers to increase their prices.

According to the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation, the potential harm could add up to nearly 5 billion euro, or about $5.5 billion.

The Dutch foundation calls for all European Union consumers who have purchased an app in the App Store or made an in-app purchase since Sept. 2009 to join its class action complaint, set to be filed in the Amsterdam District Court.

This new lawsuit is separate from a previous case in the Netherlands. The Dutch antitrust regulator has fined Apple more than 50 million euros after it found that the company's ban on alternate payment systems violated local regulations.

Apple denies that its systems are out of compliance. It has also refused to make any changes to its App Store in the country.

The iPhone maker has been in the crosshairs of antitrust regulators across the globe, including in the U.S. Apple is also still in the midst of a legal battle with Epic Games over its 30% App Store commission.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 848member
    I don’t understand these countries chastising and calling Apple a monopoly. If some other individual, entity or company can develop a better smart phone I would be more than interested in considering buying it but until then I want the best phone available which is an iPhone. Don’t penalize Apple or me for owning an iPhone.
    carstenl.watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 96
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,615member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    I don’t understand these countries chastising and calling Apple a monopoly. If some other individual, entity or company can develop a better smart phone I would be more than interested in considering buying it but until then I want the best phone available which is an iPhone. Don’t penalize Apple or me for owning an iPhone.
    I truly look forward to Apple pulling either their App Store or their phones from a jurisdiction. I wonder how removing one major smartphone company from the marketplace eliminates the "monopoly" problem.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 96
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    I don’t understand these countries chastising and calling Apple a monopoly. If some other individual, entity or company can develop a better smart phone I would be more than interested in considering buying it but until then I want the best phone available which is an iPhone. Don’t penalize Apple or me for owning an iPhone.
    I truly look forward to Apple pulling either their App Store or their phones from a jurisdiction. I wonder how removing one major smartphone company from the marketplace eliminates the "monopoly" problem.
    The problem is if they do that, it likely would bate the belief that they were a monopoly even more.  Apple unfortunately is in a loose loose proposition.
    applguywilliamlondonsphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 96
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,378member
    Apple should countersue for harassment.  It is harassment.  Since when does a fee society dictate percent profit a company makes?  If Apple is not allowed to counter sue, they should change their rate to 29.9% to ensure it is less than the dangerous 30.0% the Netherlands hates so much.

    We used to talk about the Insanely Great.  These days, it's just the insane that dominates.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 96
    cambercamber Posts: 21member
    One sparrow doesn't make for Spring. One company doesn't make a market. Allegations of monopoly are ludicrous. This is some of the worst thinking I have ever seen!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 96
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    This lawsuit appears to be a consumer group, not the government of the Netherlands.
    sphericwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 96
    Looks like a class action which was cobbled together by a group of visitors at the Banana Club in Amsterdam. One wonder what cakes they had been eating whilst strolling along the Red light district. Pathetic people. Let’s hope apple becomes aggressive just for a time to increase their phone prices there ten fold. Go on Tim I’d love to see that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 96
    polishpolish Posts: 25member
    Apple created the App Store on 30%, when it had zero business but it helped many developers to grow and they were happy to pay that to get exposure. I was one. I developed an app in 2010, and chose iOS and 30% over all the other ways I could get my idea to market. Now politicians are abusing their power to rewite rules and intervene in markets.
    carstenl.maximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 96
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,615member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    I don’t understand these countries chastising and calling Apple a monopoly. If some other individual, entity or company can develop a better smart phone I would be more than interested in considering buying it but until then I want the best phone available which is an iPhone. Don’t penalize Apple or me for owning an iPhone.
    I truly look forward to Apple pulling either their App Store or their phones from a jurisdiction. I wonder how removing one major smartphone company from the marketplace eliminates the "monopoly" problem.
    The problem is if they do that, it likely would bate the belief that they were a monopoly even more.  Apple unfortunately is in a loose loose proposition.
    I'm asking an honest question here. Can you explain how leaving a market and then getting a zero percent market share proves a business is a monopoly. That's like saying penguins have a monopoly at the north pole. Zero is zero, not a monopoly.
  • Reply 10 of 96
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    If this continues, it could become easy money for various countries. They can get millions and billions out of Apple a lot easier than their citizens, right?
    KTRcarstenl.maximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 96
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 633member
    When a customer makes a choice to buy Apple over other offerings in the market, how is that a monopoly?
    KTRstevenozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 96
    It's just a matter of time until all of this forces Apple to change their business model and start charging license fees for developer tools and use of and access to APIs, along with charging developers on a per download basis for being in the Apple App Store.  All of which will, of course, eliminate small developers and end the availability of free and low cost apps.  Which surely will make things better for everyone... won't it?

    applguycarstenl.maximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 96
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    I really love reading all these posts calling for Apple to pull out of every country where they face antitrust pressure. Executing a business strategy based on emotion rather than logic or reason is simply brilliant. Like a spoiled child who takes all his toys and goes home whenever things don’t go his way. Just genius-level thinking there. 
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtforegoneconclusionwilliamlondonelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 96
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    Japhey said:
    Like a spoiled child who takes all his toys and goes home whenever things don’t go his way. Just genius-level thinking there. 
    I'm hoping this is more a reflection of legacy-media and social-media these days, and not reflective of the state of the masses. But, I'm not so certain any longer.
    edited March 2022 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 96
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    cgWerks said:
    Japhey said:
    Like a spoiled child who takes all his toys and goes home whenever things don’t go his way. Just genius-level thinking there. 
    I'm hoping this is more a reflection of legacy-media and social-media these days, and not reflective of the state of the masses. But, I'm not so certain any longer.
    100% agree. 
    muthuk_vanalingamcgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 96
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,105member
    I really don't understand how/why a country tells a company - any company - to force it open its proprietary product to outside competitors.

    This is not anything like the old Microsoft Antitrust case from 20+ years ago, so don't try playing that card.

    Apple owns the hardware, and software.  It doesn't license it out to any other companies.  It's a closed system.  The folks buying the iPhone are Apple's customers, not the developers.  The iPhone became popular because Apple's customers enjoy the business model.  Period.  The folks that are complaining are the minority whining, vocal developers that feel entitled to hitch a ride on Apple's efforts and essentially rip Apple off.  

    As a developer myself, I'm embarrassed to share the stage with this miscreants.  I remember not long ago when boxed software was the only way to get your "app" out there and Apple's 30% fee - while being the current industry norm - was a bargain compared to a company back in the day having to package/distribute their software, compete for shelf space at whatever store carries it, pay all the distribution costs, and accept whatever percentage those retailers take from the sale.

    Embarrassing.
    carstenl.foregoneconclusionwilliamlondonmaximarawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 96
    I’m old school Apple and I’m Dutch. I remember Steve being pissed at Microsoft (re it’s market dominance) and we were able to download software from wherever we wanted. There were risks but so is driving a bicycle. I believe that customers should be free to choose from wherever you they want to to buy (paid or free). Apple changed their business model (or adjusted it as it saw fit) and me as a consumer had to adjust with. I sincerely hope Apple will be forced to open up and allow companies to offer downloads for free or paid (outside of the App Store directly onto your phone) and or allow companies to sell directly their software outside of the App Store. 
    williamlondonelijahg
  • Reply 18 of 96
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,770member
    JohnDinEU said:
    I’m old school Apple and I’m Dutch. I remember Steve being pissed at Microsoft (re it’s market dominance) and we were able to download software from wherever we wanted. There were risks but so is driving a bicycle. I believe that customers should be free to choose from wherever you they want to to buy (paid or free). Apple changed their business model (or adjusted it as it saw fit) and me as a consumer had to adjust with. I sincerely hope Apple will be forced to open up and allow companies to offer downloads for free or paid (outside of the App Store directly onto your phone) and or allow companies to sell directly their software outside of the App Store. 
    I hear what you’re saying, but if that model was so great to being with, then Apple wouldn’t have changed to the closed ecosystem it currently employs. But more importantly, the consumer wouldn’t have allowed them to. 

    These proposed laws are not about protecting the consumer. Those people have already placed their votes with their hard earned dollars and euros and made Apple the most successful company in the history of planet earth. Those people had a choice, and they made it…over and over and over again. 
    edited March 2022 radarthekaturaharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 96
    NaiyasNaiyas Posts: 107member
    JohnDinEU said:
    I’m old school Apple and I’m Dutch. I remember Steve being pissed at Microsoft (re it’s market dominance) and we were able to download software from wherever we wanted. There were risks but so is driving a bicycle. I believe that customers should be free to choose from wherever you they want to to buy (paid or free). Apple changed their business model (or adjusted it as it saw fit) and me as a consumer had to adjust with. I sincerely hope Apple will be forced to open up and allow companies to offer downloads for free or paid (outside of the App Store directly onto your phone) and or allow companies to sell directly their software outside of the App Store. 
    If you’re old school Apple you must know that iOS is not macOS. The two are vastly different serving very different markets. On macOS (old school) you can still download software from wherever you want unabated and the model hasn’t changed. Sure they are trying, but it’s not happening.

    iOS is vastly different. Ever since it’s inception the only way to get an app onto the phone from anywhere is via the “web app” method. This was there from day one and remains to this day. The App Store came a few years after first release and was driven by developers wanting a native app capability which had to be BUILT from the ground up. The price was that the only way to use this IP was via the App Store and it’s fee system.

    To the vast majority of consumers it is fantastic - a one stop shop for apps that keeps their apps updated with no hassle.

    To legacy computer users that got used to the old school way it was alien and seen as taking away features. But we fail (and still do) that the reason for iOS success is the simplicity of a one stop shop.

    The vast majority of consumers couldn’t care less about the 30% margin or only having one App Store. They just want their phone to work, not break, and want a single place to find what they want. It’s simple for them and a vast number pay for that.

    If you don’t want that, go buy one of the many Android phones on offer.

    Basically, you don’t understand that the iPhone as a product has never changed its business model when it comes to apps. The option for web apps still exists, but it provides developers no income to survive.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 96
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,821member
    Naiyas said:
    JohnDinEU said:
    I’m old school Apple and I’m Dutch. I remember Steve being pissed at Microsoft (re it’s market dominance) and we were able to download software from wherever we wanted. There were risks but so is driving a bicycle. I believe that customers should be free to choose from wherever you they want to to buy (paid or free). Apple changed their business model (or adjusted it as it saw fit) and me as a consumer had to adjust with. I sincerely hope Apple will be forced to open up and allow companies to offer downloads for free or paid (outside of the App Store directly onto your phone) and or allow companies to sell directly their software outside of the App Store. 
    If you’re old school Apple you must know that iOS is not macOS. The two are vastly different serving very different markets. On macOS (old school) you can still download software from wherever you want unabated and the model hasn’t changed. Sure they are trying, but it’s not happening.

    iOS is vastly different. Ever since it’s inception the only way to get an app onto the phone from anywhere is via the “web app” method. This was there from day one and remains to this day. The App Store came a few years after first release and was driven by developers wanting a native app capability which had to be BUILT from the ground up. The price was that the only way to use this IP was via the App Store and it’s fee system.

    To the vast majority of consumers it is fantastic - a one stop shop for apps that keeps their apps updated with no hassle.

    To legacy computer users that got used to the old school way it was alien and seen as taking away features. But we fail (and still do) that the reason for iOS success is the simplicity of a one stop shop.

    The vast majority of consumers couldn’t care less about the 30% margin or only having one App Store. They just want their phone to work, not break, and want a single place to find what they want. It’s simple for them and a vast number pay for that.

    If you don’t want that, go buy one of the many Android phones on offer.

    Basically, you don’t understand that the iPhone as a product has never changed its business model when it comes to apps. The option for web apps still exists, but it provides developers no income to survive.
    iOS and MacOS are not vastly different at all - except for the App Store issue.

    iOS is tuned for a mobile workflow and plays to its strengths. MacOS is tuned for a less mobile experience. 

    The iPhone did change its business model with regards to apps. It shipped without an app store as we know it. 

    You later admit this and mention the costs involved. That is irrelevant. As has been seen over the years, it isn't impossible for third parties to do the same. The complaint is that alternative app stores are not allowed to exist on iDevices. Competition is not allowed. 

    Developers can generate income from their apps in different ways. It doesn't only have to be through a sole app store.

    The vast majority of users not caring less about the 30% is irrelevant (apart from being unproven). None of the different investigations or proposals have considered if users care or not. It could be 10% or 60% and it still wouldn't change anything.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
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