App Developers Angry at App Store Costs Sue Apple

Developers filed a lawsuit in California against Apple Tuesday. They claimed that Apple has a monopoly over app distribution because all apps have to go through the App Store. Apple then takes a cut of any sales.

Fighting the App Store Apple Tax

The developers that sued Apple are Pure Sweat Basketball and Donald Cameron (via Wall Street Journal). Their attorney Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman, said:

Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app.

Apple takes 30% commission in the first year an app is available in the App Store. This drops to 15% after the first year.

Claims Apple Restricts Price

The lawsuit also alleged that Apple restricts pricing in the App Store. The complaint said that Apple “dictates minimum and greater price points, which prevent developers from offering paid products at less than $.99”. The also said are unable to offer products “at price points ending in anything other than $.99.”

“From the outset, Apple attained monopoly power in the U.S. market for iOS app and in-app product distribution services by slamming the door shut on any and all potential competitors,” the complaint added (via Bloomberg News).

The developers who filed the App Store complaint want to expand the case and represent a nationwide class. Apple made no public comment about the ongoing case.

3 thoughts on “App Developers Angry at App Store Costs Sue Apple

  • Ah yes, the great American legal system that lets idiots sue over putting their pet in a microwave and raise class-action lawsuits about trivial iPhone issues, but the FAA lets Boeing mark their own homework and kill people because their software makes planes crash. Meanwhile, 500lb gorilla disruptors skew markets and treat their workers like slaves.

    Its the price of doing business, you get a ready built market [huge], with generally well-off customer pool who like trying and buying apps that entertain or make their lives easier. Get over it, you haven’t had to build and maintain your own marketplace, handle distribution and marketing. Nothing is free, ultimately someone pays.

  • The bit about prices ending in .99 is interesting and seems oddly un-Apple-like, since Apple’s own prices often end in .00, though subscriptions to Apple Music do seem to be $9.99/$14.99/$4.99 until you go to the yearly $99.

    I think Steve Jobs preferred even dollar amounts, though Jobs is probably responsible for the 99 cent price.

  • Have any of these developers every heard of console games? You know, the ones that are strictly controlled and licensed by Nintendo (Switch), Sony (PS4), and Microsoft (Xbox) for their respective proprietary platforms?

    Have game developers figured out a way to manufacture Nintendo Switch cartridges without Nintendo’s approval? Or list their games in a third-party Switch app store other than Nintendo’s eShop?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.