Apple Targeted by Yet Another Dutch Class Action

Dutch Class Action Suits

Apple is in the crosshairs of yet another Dutch consumer advocacy group. The Cupertino-based tech giant’s struggles with a Dutch regulatory group won’t ease up. On top of that, there’s a potential class action suit from Dutch residents. Now, yet another lawsuit is brewing. This time, the iPhone maker faces claims of multibillion-euro damages.

The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation Sues Apple

In recent court filings, the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation says Apple “has taken advantage of its monopoly position.” The foundation’s press release (via Bloomberg) points to the 30% commission Cupertino gets from app developers.

The foundation says damages could total as much as 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) across all of the EU. As the company’s legal battles and legislations build up against its app sales and in-app purchases policies, this marks the third such case in The Netherlands alone.

Dutch Class Action Suits Against Apple

Not only is Apple facing ongoing fines from the Dutch regulatory agency Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), but in February a group tackled it and Google in a class action lawsuit. The Dutch App Stores Claim Foundation seeks up to a billion euros ($1.1 billion) in damages. That lawsuit only includes Dutch residents.

The latest installment comes in advocacy for all of the EU. The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation called on all EU consumers who purchased an app in the App Store or made an in-app purchase through Apple since Sept. 2009 to join its class action.

The foundation enlisted international law firm Scott + Scott to represent it. The class action is to be filed soon in the Amsterdam District Court. To date, no legal action has definitively asserted that Apple’s app distribution marketplace is a monopoly. However, several nations have taken the iPhone maker to task for not allowing third-party payment methods.

It brings forth an interesting question. If the Dutch-resident-only class action lawsuit goes forward, it may dilute the pool of participants in this EU-based case, or vice versa. Certainly an individual couldn’t be part of the plaintiff party in both cases at the same time.

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