Written by Fu Yunqi
BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) – Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been the subject of a £785 million ($1 billion) class action lawsuit brought by more than 1,500 British app developers over App Store fees.
Apple’s Services segment, which includes the App Store, has seen its revenue grow at a rapid pace in recent years and is now hovering around $20 billion per quarter.
However, the commissions of between 15% and 30% that the company charges some app makers for using the “in-app” payment system have been criticized by developers and targeted by antitrust authorities in various countries.
Apple previously said that 85% of App Store developers pay no commission and that it helps European developers reach markets and customers in 175 countries around the world through the App Store.
The lawsuit was brought before the UK Court of Appeal for Competition on Tuesday (European time) by Sean Innes, professor at the Center for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia and former economist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, on behalf of 1,566 app developers.
“The fees that Apple charges app developers are excessive and can only be achieved through its monopoly on app distribution on iPhones and iPads,” Ennis, who was advised by law firm Geradin Partners, said in a statement.
He added, “The fee itself is unfair and constitutes an abusive practice. It harms app developers as well as app buyers.”
($1 = 0.7802 pounds)
(Reporting by Fu Yun Che; Editing in Spanish by Sofia Diaz Pineda)
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