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Apple has unsuccessfully tried to escape a British lawsuit. A mass claim representing 1,500 developers could potentially cost the US company £785 million (€800 million). This would be a compensation for the high fees Apple charges for transactions within the App Store.

Reuters reports. Apple charges 30 percent commission per purchase within the App Store. This percentage applies to both paid apps themselves and transactions that take place within apps. That requirement constitutes an abuse of power against app developers, argues Sean Ennis, a market competition academic and economist. He brought the case on behalf of 1,500 developers to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in 2023.

Apple tried to get the case thrown out, but was unsuccessful. According to Judge Andrew Lenon, there is a real chance that Apple is actually overcharging developers commissions in the United Kingdom. A decision in this case would not directly affect Apple’s position in other markets. Nevertheless, changes to the App Store would potentially apply internationally, so the court decision would have larger implications.

Positions of Apple and Google continuously under pressure

Due in part to legal attacks by Epic Games, both Apple and Google are already having to review their app stores. The game maker continues to insist that reform is needed. Epic’s lawsuit against Apple did not result in fundamental changes, but the Digital Markets Act (DMA) has. This European legislation forces Apple to accept third-party app stores on iOS and transactions outside its traditional commission structure. Thus, the App Store’s monopoly will gradually weaken.

If Apple fails to comply fully, the consequences could be significant. In addition to Apple, the European Commission is also investigating whether Google and Meta may have violated the DMA. If so, the fine could be up to 10 percent of the guilty company’s annual turnover. In Apple’s case, that could turn out to be in the region of 40 billion euros. That’s an unlikely figure for the EU to reach, based on historical precedent. The highest ever fine it has dished out was 4,34 billion euros for Google’s abuse of power on Android.

Also read: EU investigating Google, Apple and Meta for Digital Markets Act violations