Bloomberg reports that to add to its ever-growing list of legal woes, iPhone maker Apple Inc. was recently named in a Dutch class action lawsuit seeking multibillion-euro damages for its apps and in-app purchases.
The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation said in a press release on Tuesday that Apple “has taken advantage of its monopoly position” with its 30 percent fee for every sale from app developers, forcing them to raise their prices.
Some $5.5 billion is at stake in this case. The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation states on its website that it is “dedicated to protecting consumers against unfair commercial practices and violations of consumer law.” Consumers have been overcharged by 5 billion euros for their app and in-app purchases and should demand a refund, according to the CCCF, which claims this is because Apple reaps “excess profit” by “abusing its market dominance at the expense of European consumers.” It claims this is because of Apple’s “market dominance.”
“Anti-competitive” practices are also alleged by the group, which claims that Apple charges excessively high prices and “imposes restrictive conditions” on the App Store and in-app purchases, thus excluding competition and depriving consumers of choices.
Similar to the Epic Games legal battle against Apple, which has moved to appeal after a judge found that Apple did not have an exclusive monopoly on its iOS app ecosystem, App Store, and payment methods, which it uses on devices like its best iPhone, the iPhone 13, to distribute apps and charge fees for purchases made on its platform. This action treads similar legal ground to the Epic Games legal battle against Apple.
Apple has already racked up $55 million in fines in the Netherlands for failing to comply with new laws stating that dating apps should be able to offer alternative payment methods to customers.