Apple developers can't escape the 30% toll, because the lawyers took it

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2021
At least 30% of the $100 million developer fund that Apple will create to settle a class action lawsuit will go toward attorneys' fees, the settlement proposal indicates.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Apple on Thursday announced a settlement that would resolve a class action lawsuit levied by a group U.S. developers. In addition to some App Store policy changes, the settlement will also create a $100 million fund to assist small developers. Depending on size and App Store history, developers can claim between $250 to $30,000 from the fund.

Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, is set to take a much bigger cut than any individual app maker. The settlement agreement proposes that the plaintiffs will make a request for attorneys' fees of up to $30 million, paid out from the Small Developer Assistance Fund.

"A fee award of $30 million, which again is the maximum amount plaintiffs will request, represents 30 percent of the Small Developer Assistance Fund," the settlement proposal reads. "Even if one were to look solely at this monetary relief, such a request would be reasonable."

According to the settlement proposal, 30% of a common fund going toward attorneys' fees and court costs is standard practice. It argues that the 30% fee is at the lowest end of the standard range, and "the Settlement also provides substantial non-monetary relief to the Class."

The proposed administrator of the settlement, Angeion Group, estimates a claim rate of around 35%. If that many developers file a claim, the proposed settlement says that the minimum payment amounts to members of the class will "increase proportionally in each tier."

The original lawsuit, filed in 2019, listed Apple's 30% cut of app and in-app purchases as one of the ways that the iPhone maker abuses its power.

Of course, the settlement has not yet been approved by the court. There's a chance that it could change between now and court approval.

In addition to the Small Developer Assistance Fund, Apple is also nixing some of its anti-steering regulations and has promised to keep certain App Store policies and programs -- like the Small Business Program -- intact for at least three years.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    BREAKING NEWS: Law firm requests agreed-upon fee.  
    ronnapplguytrackerozdarkvaderbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Curious how the attorneys can take a 30% cut, but God forbid Apple do so.
    leavingthebiggmwhitesconosciutoviclauyycmknelsonnarwhalmagman1979chiaFidonet127baconstang
  • Reply 3 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,713member
    GregMcD said:
    Curious how the attorneys can take a 30% cut, but God forbid Apple do so.
    Absolutely. I think This article was published to point out that 30% commissions are very normal. It’s only the Apple hater crowd that thinks 30% is outrageous because… bash Apple at every opportunity.
    leavingthebiggmwhitesconosciutogenovellemobirdmagman1979chiaradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Definition of irony right there.

    Have a lawyer argue that 30% is too much and then ask his client for 30%. 
    narwhalthtmagman1979applguychiaBeatsDogpersonsmiffy31dbvaporradarthekat
  • Reply 5 of 35
    Nyahahahaha…..what a rippers. 
    Apple thats too much, yes your 30% commission in Apps store.
    Meanwhile at the barn house::::
    Well, as agreed, yes you Apps developers, my 30% Atty’s fee are due asap. Capis??
    magman1979mwhiteBeatsradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 35
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,656member
    You can always go to a different lawyer that works for less. Just like you can go to the other App store to sell apps for the Apple products they are designed for. Right?
    magman1979Beatsdarkvaderwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 35
    physguyphysguy Posts: 920member
    eightzero said:
    You can always go to a different lawyer that works for less. Just like you can go to the other App store to sell apps for the Apple products they are designed for. Right?
    Yep.  Its spelled 'A', 'N', 'D', 'R', 'O', 'I', 'D'.  The best phone/lawyers (30%+) or the rest.
    mwhitebageljoeyradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 35
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,322member
    Ironically 95% of developers would be doing something else if it were not for the platform Apple created, promoted and continues to support. Their share would be zero. 30% is far less than the 70% that was standard for mobile apps before Apple’s App Store. 
    magman1979BeatsDogpersonradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,852member
    Definition of irony right there.

    Have a lawyer argue that 30% is too much and then ask his client for 30%. 
    Exactly.

    I suspect when it comes time for Epic's day in court, Apple will use this little settlement as evidence that 30% is the norm across many markets.  Judges being lawyers should definitely understand this.  It may be have been a cheap write-off for Apple to accept this settlement knowing the 30% lawyer fee is going to be the bell heard around the world. :)
    magman1979mattinozmwhiteBeatsradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 35
    ronnronn Posts: 477member
    Up to 30% is standard in class action lawsuits (also take into account attorney expenses, some of which will increase once/if the settlement is approved). Overall, the developers are gaining more than just that fund. The other concessions, especially doing away with certain anti-steering policies, will help app developers in the long-run. This suit is one of the reasons that Apple lowered its cut down to 15% for app developers earning under $1 million. So in that sense, the attorneys already earned a right to that 30%. It would be nearly impossible for individual developers to win. Epic's battle with Apple will take years to resolve, no matter how the judge rules in the original suit.
    duervodarkvaderjony0
  • Reply 11 of 35
    GregMcD said:
    Curious how the attorneys can take a 30% cut, but God forbid Apple do so.
    My guess taken on by the law firm on the contingency that they only get paid if they win the case instead of the developers paying billable hours upfront.
    ronndarkvader
  • Reply 12 of 35
    lkrupp said:
    GregMcD said:
    Curious how the attorneys can take a 30% cut, but God forbid Apple do so.
    Absolutely. I think This article was published to point out that 30% commissions are very normal. It’s only the Apple hater crowd that thinks 30% is outrageous because… bash Apple at every opportunity.
    That's because Apple is a monopoly and lawyers are not << note sarcasm
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 35
    I'm willing to bet that the class action suit agains Google's Play Store ends the same way. These aren't organic lawsuits, class action suits are started by lawyers who find some perceived wrong doing and then go looking for people to sign on as plaintiffs.

    Both Apple and Google are being portrayed as the bad guys despite the fact that they are both offering services that benefit the developers far beyond the costs that they charge. 
    thtradarthekatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 35
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,686member
    Great irony. It’s almost as if nothing is free.

    Maybe the developers can hire new lawyers to bi*** to these lawyers that they should work for free? When they win the case they would then pay 30% to the new lawyers. Win-win!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 35
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,408member
    GregMcD said:
    Curious how the attorneys can take a 30% cut, but God forbid Apple do so.
    My guess taken on by the law firm on the contingency that they only get paid if they win the case instead of the developers paying billable hours upfront.
    Not much different than Apple getting a 15% or 30% cut, only if the developer makes a sale with an app in the App Store.  Developers do not have to pay Apple upfront, for having their apps in the App Store. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,408member

    eightzero said:
    You can always go to a different lawyer that works for less. Just like you can go to the other App store to sell apps for the Apple products they are designed for. Right?
    The right analogy would be a developer can always develop for other app stores that charges less, other than the App Store on iOS. Samsung phones can have over a half dozen app stores installed. So can Huawei phones. The lawyer would be equivalent to the app store, not Apple iOS. No one is forcing anyone to hire a lawyer with a high contingency rate and no one is forcing developers to develop for the App Store in iOS. There are cheaper lawyers and there are cheaper app stores. But you get what you pay for, if you want to pay less.  

    https://www.moveoapps.com/blog/list-of-app-stores/

    What's happening now is that developers are developing for iOS knowing full well of the commission beforehand and then complaining about paying it afterwards. This would be like hiring a good lawyer after agreeing to the 30% cut if they win and when they do win, suing them to try to reduce their cut because it's too high. 
    radarthekatroundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Hell, I had a lawyer switch to a 40% cut at the last minute. ( i was young and clueless).Hope  she’s dead now 
    larryjwwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 35
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,514member
    It’s all good, man 
    mike1watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 35
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,351member
    Now sue the lawyers for their outrageous fee.  Maybe that will create vicious cycle where lawyers just continue to sue each other until they pay their own fees and implode upon themselves in a lawsuit vacuum!

    oh, I forgot about the shark principle.  They seldom attack their own.
    em_tewatto_cobra
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