Apple is sued by French app developers over app store fees

Apple is sued by French app developers over app store fees

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) was sued on Monday by French app developers who accused the iPhone maker of violating US antitrust laws by charging them too much for their use. your app store. 

The plaintiffs in the proposed class action include Société du Figaro, the company that develops the Figaro news app; L`Équipe 24/24, the company that develops the sports news and streaming app L'Équipe, and Le Geste, a French association of content providers.

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According to a complaint filed in federal court in Oakland, California, Apple abused its monopoly power over the distribution of apps on iOS-based mobile devices by authorizing only one store of apps for devices. 

Plaintiffs said it allowed the Cupertino, California-based company to charge a "super competitive" commission of 30%  for 14 years, as well as a $99 annual fee for app developers and impedes innovation and consumer choice. 

"There is no valid business need or competitive justification for Apple's conduct," the complaint states. "Instead, Apple's actions are designed to destroy competition." 

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  Monday's complaint seeks injunction relief for further anticompetitive conduct, as well as triple damages for violations of federal antitrust and California state law. 

The plaintiffs are represented by the US law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and  Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi, based in Paris. Monday's lawsuit resembles Hagens Berman's earlier lawsuit against Apple, a lawsuit last August that resulted in a $100 million settlement for small iOS developers who allege their commissions against Apple is too high. 

In June, the company reached a $90 million agreement with Alphabet Inc  Google over the treatment of developers in their app store. 

This case is  Figaro Applications Company et al v Apple Inc, USA. District Court, Northern District of California, no. On 22-04437.

Source: Reuters