It’s possible that as many as 20 million UK iPhone and iPad users would be compensated if a $1.5 billion lawsuit against Apple is ultimately successful.
Dr. Rachael Kent’s consumer action against Apple has been rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal this week. A three-judge panel rejected Apple’s request to reverse the decision, and the case will now continue to a full trial in a specialist court. A news release from Kent’s Hausfeld & Co LLP firm stated:
An appeal has been filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) in the United Kingdom, a specialized court. It claims that Apple may have violated British and European competition laws by overcharging 19.6 million iPhone and iPad customers in the UK. Dr. Kent, an expert in the digital economy and a lecturer at King’s College London, is seeking compensation on behalf of injured customers and businesses.
Legal wrangling in nations like the European Union and South Korea is fueling this case, which shares many of the same grievances as Epic Games’ “Free Fortnite’ campaign. According to Dr. Kent, an expert in the digital economy, consumers of popular applications like Tinder, Fortnite, and any other program that allows in-app purchases have been overcharged by Apple. Due to Apple’s in-app payment system and the up to 30% commission it charges on these purchases, developers are forced to use the App Store to market their programs. He contends that if Apple’s devices were available to competitors, it could not charge customers such an enormous mark-up, and that “this behavior is prohibited.”
In the words of Dr. Kent, “this is fantastic news for UK App Store users.” This well-thought-out judgement by the Competition Appeal Tribunal shows that the fundamental changes to the UK’s class action processes since 2015 are working and that consumers and businesses can now be empowered to preserve their collective rights against violations of competition law.
According to the claim, everyone who has used an iPhone or iPad to purchase applications, subscriptions, or in-app purchases since October 1, 2015, may be eligible for compensation and will be automatically included in the investigation if they choose to participate.
Commissions on Apple’s App Store are a grey area of the law. Even though Apple is being forced to accept alternative payment methods, the company still charges a commission of about 26% on orders. This includes South Korea, where businesses declared that alternative payment systems would be made available to developers in order to comply with new legislation in the country.