The App Stores Claims foundation will soon drag Google and Apple to a Dutch court for a mega claim of 1 billion euros. The claim is motivated by high developer commission rates in the Google Play and Apple App Store.
According to the App Stores Claims foundation, end users and developers are forced into paying unreasonable amounts of money for apps. The foundation argues that these costs are due to the tech giants abusing their economic position. Google and Apple allegedly make it very difficult for app developers to facilitate alternative payment systems for app purchases, such as iDeal.
In addition, they charge commissions of up to 30 percent, which essentially forces app developers into passing costs onto end users. Resultingly, apps are said to be unnecessarily expensive.
The foundation bases its 1 billion euro claim on the sum of all purchases made in the Dutch Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The goal is to return the amount to buyers.
The App Stores Claims foundation is starting a publicity campaign to gain the support of consumers and business app users’ support.
Consumers can register for free to show support, but must comply with an extensive registration process. In doing so, the foundation wants to comply with Dutch claim legislation and prevent the court from dismissing the case because it cannot sufficiently demonstrate on whose behalf the foundation is acting. The latter happened in a recent case against Oracle and Salesforce.
The foundation is chaired by web entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping and several former leaders of the Dutch insurance industry. Fortress, a US-based litigation financier, funds their campaign. This financier has negotiated a commission of up to 25 percent of the possible awarded damages.
App stores under fire
The mega claim is the next step in a long-running, broader conflict concerning app store fees and developer commissions. Recently, Dutch market regulator ACM imposed a fine on Apple because of a competition case involving Dutch dating apps and limited payment methods.
Furthermore, the App Stores Claims foundation isn’t the only one preparing a case against Google and Apple. The Right to Consumer Justice foundation is said to prepare a claim in the Netherlands as well. This foundation is yet to go public.