Apple faces an incredibly pricey lawsuit in the Netherlands, where the company is accused of “market dominance,” “anti-competitive practices,” and overcharging App Store users for apps and in-app subscriptions.
The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation believes Apple has been able to charge “excessively high prices” by excluding all competition and then abusing its “monopoly position.” It says damages could total $5.5 billion.
Apple under fire for App Store practices (again)
Apple isn’t exactly enjoying a peaceful existence in the Netherlands right now. In recent months, it has been battling regulators over a law that demands it must give dating app devs the ability to offer alternative payment options, and it has been fined €50 million ($57 million) for its failure to comply.
Now Cupertino it is facing a multi-billion euro lawsuit that again targets its App Store practices. “Apple prohibits any competition with its own App Store,” Consumer Competition Claims,” said. “Apple’s behaviour is unlawful.”
App Store ‘excluded all competition’
“Consumers have been overcharged 5 billion euros for their app and in-app purchases and should demand a refund,” reads an article on the foundation’s homepage. “Apple has reaped this excess profit by abusing its market dominance at the expense of European consumers.”
“By using anti-competitive practices, Apple has been able to charge excessively high prices and impose restrictive conditions. Apple excluded all competition and withheld choice for consumers on their App-store and in-app purchases.”
Consumer Competition Claims points to the 15-30% fee Apple charges third-party developers, which are “forced to pass on the excessive prices” to consumers. It is now fighting for compensation, and it calls on EU residents who have owned an iPhone or iPad to sign up in support.
‘Tried to reach a solution with Apple
The foundation also said it has “tried to reach a solution with Apple. This has not succeeded.” Therefore, it will go ahead with a collective action procedure on behalf of all App Store consumers in the EU.