UK Rejects Apple’s Argument for Dismissal for App Store Fee Lawsuit

Apple App Store Lawsuit

A UK board has denied Apple’s request to have its case dismissed, meaning that a class action lawsuit against the company regarding the App Store’s 30% fee may proceed.

For those unaware, on behalf of 1,566 UK-based developers, a lawsuit was filed against Apple in July 2023, claiming that the company’s 30% charge was exorbitant and an abuse of its dominant status. 

Apple then submitted an appeal to have the tribunal dismiss the case completely in January 2024. However, according to a Reuters report, the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal has already rejected the motion. 

Apple claimed that the case is unsustainable, as 85% of developers pay Apple nothing to have their work appear on the App Store. It added that unless the dispute involved transactions made domestically, developers would not be able to pursue legal action in the UK. 

Apple moved to have the lawsuit dismissed by the judge, claiming that commissions from UK sales should be the only ones subject to UK court jurisdiction and not commissions from international sales. Moreover, Daniel Piccinin, an attorney for Apple, stated that this would only benefit a tiny portion of the case’s plaintiffs.

Judge Andrew Lenon, however, decided that Sean Ennis, a law professor, may proceed with the class action. In a written decision, Judge Lenon stated that there was a good probability the lawsuit would prove that: 

“Apple’s overcharging of commission to app developers based in the UK in relation to commerce transacted on non-UK storefronts did amount to conduct implemented in the UK.”

Therefore, the class action plaintiffs may try to convince the judge that Apple shouldn’t have imposed a 30% tax on any app purchase made inside or outside of the UK.

It’s unknown if the lawsuit will proceed. However, we expect to learn more about it soon.


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