Lawsuit targets Apple's iOS App Store 'monopoly'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2021
A proposed class-action lawsuit claims Apple leveraged its popular iOS platform to create a closed ecosystem that locked customers into a software aftermarket saddled by App Store commissions, fees which continue to drive "supracompetetive" profits.

App Award


Lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the lawsuit alleges Apple engages in anticompetitive behavior by limiting iPhone, iPod touch and other iOS devices to its own operating system, forcing developers to accept App Store terms on said operating system, restricting third-party app marketplaces and, importantly, levying a 30% commission on App Store purchases.

Also noted in the complaint are subsequent changes to App Store policy that allegedly illustrate Apple's scheme to corner the iOS app market. Included as supposed evidence is the company's long-running 30% fee on App Store purchases, introduction of subscriptions services, rigid app and in-app content pricing guidelines, and stringent developer contracts, among other policies.

Apple does not apply the same limitations evenly to other operating systems. On macOS, for example, users are allowed to download and run apps from the internet and other distributors.

"Apple's motive for its anticompetitive conduct was simple: Apple did not want its iOS Device-related revenue stream to end when a consumer bought an iOS Device, like it generally does when consumers purchase iMac and MacBook computers," the complaint reads. "So Apple concocted and maintained a plan to continue generating additional revenues over the entire useful life of every iOS Device it sold by cornering the distribution market for iOS applications and charging consumers an extra 30% for every app."

The complaint alleges that consumers pay more for their apps because Apple has nullified competition on its platform. Customers are not able to shop for apps on other app stores, which might offer content at a lower price than Apple's first-party marketplace, according to plaintiffs. Further, Apple's "monopolization" of the app market allegedly caused a reduction in the supply of apps.

Plaintiffs argue that competition is also injured under the same rubric.

The proposed class is vast and includes anyone who purchased an iOS app or app license from Apple, or who made an in-app purchase, from Dec. 29, 2007, through the present.

Named plaintiffs alleged multiple violations of the Sherman Act and the California Unfair Competition Law, and seek a judgment that would prohibit Apple from selling devices without first obtaining contractual consent to "Apple's monopolization of and charging of monopoly prices in the iOS apps aftermarket" and "having their iOS Devices locked to accept only apps or purchased from Apple." Damages and legal fees are also sought.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    Can people who are fine with the App Store file a class action lawsuit against the people who filed one against Apple? 
    chaickaAnilu_777mwhitebaconstangroundaboutnowapplguyDogpersonlkruppmanfred zornicoco3
  • Reply 2 of 31
    And these same folks are ok with Nintendo locking Switch to its own online marketplace?

    How long more do those who supports the App Store model has to endure all these folks who are against it yet do not want to go Android?
    Anilu_777baconstangDogpersonmanfred zornBeatswilliamlondonjas99radarthekatmike1viclauyyc
  • Reply 3 of 31
    Simple solution. You don’t like the App Store model, buy an Android. When you buy an iPhone or iPad you know what you’re getting. So stfu all of them. 
    baconstangrob53Dogpersonmanfred zornBeatswilliamlondonjas99tommikelethe1maximusradarthekat
  • Reply 4 of 31
    Apple's motive for its anticompetitive conduct was simple: Apple did not want its iOS Device-related revenue stream to end when a consumer bought an iOS Device, like it generally does when consumers purchase iMac and MacBook computers," the complaint reads. "So Apple concocted and maintained a plan to continue generating additional revenues over the entire useful life of every iOS Device it sold by cornering the distribution market for iOS applications and charging consumers an extra 30% for every app.
    I wonder if these people remember that before the iPhone, Apple charged $129 for Mac OS X upgrades, the Developer Program had multiple tiers that started at $500/year (there was a free option, but  it didn't include access to the OS betas), and there certainly weren't a whole lot of great apps for less than $20-30.

    Now, the developer program is only $99, all software upgrades are free, and apps are considerably less expensive, not more.

    They want Apple to spend billions developing and maintaining the ecosystem without which they wouldn't even have a business, and not recoup any of it.
    edited November 2021 baconstangDogpersonBeatsforegoneconclusionwilliamlondonjas99tommikeleradarthekatviclauyycMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 5 of 31
    People that buy or develop for iOS devices have no excuse for not knowing WTF they're doing.  The vast majority are fully aware, and more than approve of the ecosystem's details.

    The ones making noise are mostly jealous losers, as is obvious to most.
    rob53chiaDogpersonwilliamlondonjas99tommikeleradarthekatviclauyycMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 6 of 31
    The iPhone, original version, sold just fine without any App Store. Maybe Apple should go back to that model by cancelling all app stores for iOS. Then they wouldn't be accused of being a monopoly.
    MacsWithPenguinsdanox
  • Reply 7 of 31
    The proposed class is vast and includes anyone who purchased an iOS app or app license from Apple, or who made an in-app purchase, from Dec. 29, 2007, through the present.
    One pretty fundamental flaw in their argument is they don’t even know when the iOS App Store started. If they can’t get that date right then how many other holes are there in their arguments.
    DogpersonBeatsjas99radarthekatMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 8 of 31
    Naiyas said:
    The proposed class is vast and includes anyone who purchased an iOS app or app license from Apple, or who made an in-app purchase, from Dec. 29, 2007, through the present.
    One pretty fundamental flaw in their argument is they don’t even know when the iOS App Store started. If they can’t get that date right then how many other holes are there in their arguments.
    More concerning is your reading comprehension. The date is for the start of who can be included in the class action suit, not when the App Store started. If you made an in app purchase from Dec 29, 2007 you will be part of the class included in the suit if it is accepted and certified as a class action suit.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 31
    We should start a class action lawsuit against Walmart for holding a monopoly on the Walmart stores and not letting just waltz in and sell my products. Or maybe against McDonald’s for only selling their food and not allowing others to sell. Yeah, THAT makes sense *rolling eyes*
    manfred zornBeatsjas99radarthekatviclauyycSETHMAN71qwerty52
  • Reply 10 of 31
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 444member
    This no different than opening a business and then deciding the government taxes and fees required of a business (income, business personal property, business license, unemployment insurance, etc) are too much and suing to get them removed or to pay into a different tax system. 

    The alternative is to go work for someone (Android) or go on unemployment (generic or no phone). 
    Beatsjas99tommikeleradarthekatMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Just let me know How I Can Opt Out of the “Apple should work for free” class action suit. 
    Beatsjas99tommikeleradarthekatviclauyycMacsWithPenguins
  • Reply 12 of 31
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    rcfa said:
    It’s really funny how many fan boys rather bleed themselves financially dry rather than admit, that their favorite geek-fashion icon is abusing it’s market power.

    Best example: you can’t even install MacOS on an M1 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, even though it’s superior to a MacBook Air in every aspect that counts, because Apple rather sells you two devices, where one would be more than sufficient (given that MacOS can run iOS apps with catalyst, or given that the hardware can run both iOS and MacOS under a hypervisor and suspend MacOS the moment the iPad is undocked from the Magic Keyboard)

    similarly, while its perfectly OK for Apple to warn against side loading or refuse technical support if side loaded apps and system components are installed, it’s not OK for Apple to decide what I can or cannot run on hardware I bought and own.
    specifically, Apple can’t do both, decide what content they find objectionable since they don’t want to have it associated with an Apple-branded AppStore, and prevent side loading, because the combination of these two results in a private company censoring my and others free speech within the realm of privately owned property. 
    While it would e.g. be wrong to force Apple to sell porn apps, it’s equally wrong to prevent adults from using and installing porn apps. If Apple doesn’t want to sell them, that’s perfectly fine, since a valuable brand like Apple no CEO would want to associate with that; but it’s equally wrong, that people can’t install and use such apps on their private devices, if they so desire.

    Furthermore, as the Pegasus malware proves: security through obscurity is no working approach. A device on which the owner has no option to become root and inspect all aspects of the system is one in which he’s helplessly exposed to threats without ability to detect or fight them, reliant on trust on Apple’s nonexistent perfection and ability to resist government pressures. Apple pretends to be all about privacy and security, yet they prevent users from being able to inspect, detect, and fight malware. Total hypocrisy!

    Your pity party is irrelevant. This has nothing to do with macOS on iPad. 
    williamlondonroundaboutnowtommikeleMacsWithPenguinsdanoxqwerty52
  • Reply 13 of 31
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    icoco3 said:
    rcfa said:
    It’s really funny how many fan boys rather bleed themselves financially dry rather than admit, that their favorite geek-fashion icon is abusing it’s market power.

    Best example: you can’t even install MacOS on an M1 iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard, even though it’s superior to a MacBook Air in every aspect that counts, because Apple rather sells you two devices, where one would be more than sufficient (given that MacOS can run iOS apps with catalyst, or given that the hardware can run both iOS and MacOS under a hypervisor and suspend MacOS the moment the iPad is undocked from the Magic Keyboard)

    similarly, while its perfectly OK for Apple to warn against side loading or refuse technical support if side loaded apps and system components are installed, it’s not OK for Apple to decide what I can or cannot run on hardware I bought and own.
    specifically, Apple can’t do both, decide what content they find objectionable since they don’t want to have it associated with an Apple-branded AppStore, and prevent side loading, because the combination of these two results in a private company censoring my and others free speech within the realm of privately owned property.  …”

    I hear Windows and Android calling…


    Hey that’s true! Why no Windows allow Android to run on my crappy Windows laptop?!

    Greedy Microsoft wants me to buy two!!!!

    Also why can’t I run WatchOS on my Apple TV!!!!!
    jas99qwerty52
  • Reply 14 of 31
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    rob53 said:
    Can people who are fine with the App Store file a class action lawsuit against the people who filed one against Apple? 

    I was wondering if Apple could sue everyone involved for telling them how to run their own store. Including the lawyers.
    jas99geekmeeqwerty52
  • Reply 15 of 31
    bulk001 said:
    Naiyas said:
    The proposed class is vast and includes anyone who purchased an iOS app or app license from Apple, or who made an in-app purchase, from Dec. 29, 2007, through the present.
    One pretty fundamental flaw in their argument is they don’t even know when the iOS App Store started. If they can’t get that date right then how many other holes are there in their arguments.
    More concerning is your reading comprehension. The date is for the start of who can be included in the class action suit, not when the App Store started. If you made an in app purchase from Dec 29, 2007 you will be part of the class included in the suit if it is accepted and certified as a class action suit.
    In app purchases didn't begin until late 2009.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    Another wrong headed anti-monopoly lawsuit. That 30% developer fee is not the main problem. It is actually quite reasonable especially now it is only 15% for small developers (which is the vast majority of us). The real issue is the lack of choice you as consumers have in iOS and the fact that you don't even know what you are missing since the majority of new app ideas are killed in the cradle because "Apple would never approve that." The problem has become so bad that it is actually wrecking the software development industry. The worst example is the Apple Watch which has such a limited, highly restrictive SDK that developers are limited to a very small number of use cases as dreamed up by Apple. What was the last game you played on your Apple watch? Why is that?
    jas99
  • Reply 17 of 31
    False claim!…How can you have a ‘monopoly’ when consumers have a choice; iOS or Android?
    It looks like the market has decided.
    jas99
  • Reply 18 of 31
    AppleInsider said: Lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the lawsuit alleges Apple engages in anticompetitive behavior by limiting iPhone, iPod touch and other iOS devices to its own operating system, forcing developers to accept App Store terms on said operating system, restricting third-party app marketplaces and, importantly, levying a 30% commission on App Store purchases. 
    IMO, the Psystar lawsuit that Apple won already eliminated this approach. Psystar had been installing the Mac operating system onto it's own Mac clone hardware and tried to argue in court that Apple was violating monopoly/antitrust laws by limiting installation to it's own hardware. Part of the ruling against Psystar was that Apple's own hardware couldn't be viewed as a market unto itself.
    edited November 2021 williamlondonjas99viclauyycdanox
  • Reply 19 of 31
    Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. 
  • Reply 20 of 31
    Gee, I really want a Mopar Hemi Hellcat engine in my Camaro, Let’s have a class action lawsuit against GM for not allowing me to order one that way. 
    williamlondonmike1
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