Apple accused of breaking UK competition law by overcharging applications | Apple
Apple faces a billion pound lawsuit after being accused of breaking UK competition law by overcharging millions of people for apps on its App Store.
The tech company has been accused of deliberately excluding competition from the store and forcing people to use its own payment processing system, thereby generating “excessive” profits.
The claim, which is filed on behalf of millions of Apple users in the UK, has been taken to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and calls on Apple to reimburse UK customers who it claims were overcharged due to the company practices, with damages of up to £ 1.5 billion sought.
It says up to 19.6 million UK users could be eligible for compensation.
The claim argues that Apple’s policy of forcing developers to use its payment systems for in-app purchases and taking up to 30% commission on those transactions is unfair.
Apple is the subject of a lawsuit in the United States brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games, which accused the iPhone maker of using the App Store and the 15% to 30% commission it takes on in-app purchases as a way to stifle competition.
The British class action was brought by Dr Rachael Kent, digital economy expert and lecturer at King’s College London, who claims that because the App Store is the only way to get apps on an iPhone or iPad, it’s acting like a monopoly.
“The App Store was a brilliant gateway to a range of interesting and innovative services that millions of us find useful, including me,” she said. “But 13 years after its launch, it has become the only gateway for millions of consumers.
“Apple jealously guards access to the world of applications and charges completely unjustified entry and usage fees.
“This is the behavior of a monopolist and it is unacceptable.” “
The claim states that any UK iPhone or iPad user who has purchased paid apps, paid subscriptions, or made any other in-app purchases in the UK version of the App Store since October 1, 2015 could be entitled to compensation for the “anti-competitive nature of the business. practices”.
There has been growing concern over the policies of the App Store in recent months. In April, the European Commission accused Apple of abusing its dominant position in the music streaming market with the App Store’s rules on in-app payments, following a complaint from Spotify.
Apple has yet to comment on the new UK lawsuit, but has previously championed the App Store as an “engine of economic growth”, creating jobs and other opportunities for developers.