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Apple is faced with yet another antitrust lawsuit over its software store fees, this time launched by a group of French iOS app developers in Apple’s home state of California.

Apple is accused of anticompetitive behaviour by authorizing just one software store for iOS devices, giving it a stranglehold on iOS app distribution and the power to force developers to pay large commissions on in-app sales.

The complaint claims that these costs, in addition to Apple’s $99 annual developer program fees, reduce developers’ income and discourage innovation. There’s no alternative, as developers aren’t allowed to suggest alternative payment methods under Apple’s App Store rules.

Apple’s stifling monopoly

Additionally, developers aren’t allowed to circulate their apps to iOS users outside of the App Store, even though Apple allows it on Mac computers.

This latest suit is one of many antitrust legal battles that Apple is fighting, including a high-profile case with Fortnite producer Epic Games that’s now being appealed, and another by rival software store Cydia.

Among the iOS developers named in the suit are France-based Société du Figaro, which created the Figaro news app; L’Équipe 24/24, which created the L’Équipe sports coverage and streaming app; and Le Geste, a French alliance consisting of France-based publishing companies of online content and services, including App Store developers.

Heavy hitters against Goliath

The organization is represented by the legal firm Hagens Berman in the United States, which won a $100 million settlement against Apple last year over App Store regulations. Hagens Berman also recently launched a $1 billion complaint against Apple over antitrust problems with Apple Pay.

Steve Berman, the managing partner at Hagens Berman, has a track record of success fighting digital behemoths, having obtained a $560 million ruling against Apple for e-book price fixing and a $90 million settlement in defence of Android developers. Berman is collaborating with Paris-based antitrust lawyer Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi on the planned class action case.