Apple Hit With Multi-Billion Euro Lawsuit for ‘Overcharging’ App Store Users

Apple is facing a new multi-billion euro lawsuit out of The Netherlands that alleges the company overcharges users who purchase apps and in-app subscriptions through the App Store and accuses Apple of partaking in “market dominance” and “anti-competitive practices.”

iOS App Store General Feature Dock
The foundation spearheading the lawsuit is the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation, which describes itself as “an independent non-profit foundation that is committed to protecting consumers against unfair commercial practices and violations of consumer law.”

On its website, the foundation says that Apple, through its ‌App Store‌ policies, is overcharging users who pay for apps and in-app services, adding that users should “demand” refunds for purchases.

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.

The foundation points to what is commonly referred to as the “Apple tax,” a 15% or 30% commission that Apple takes for all digital purchases made on and through the ‌App Store‌. The foundation says that the commission forces developers to increase prices for users. “iPhone and iPad owners pay the price for Apple’s App-store abusive monopoly,” the foundation states.

Bloomberg reports the foundation believes the lawsuit will lead to upwards of $5.5 billion in damages sought for all EU ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users who have made a purchase through Apple’s ‌App Store‌. On its website, the foundation asks customers to join their efforts to “hold Apple accountable.”

The new lawsuit is one of several legal battles brewing for Apple in Europe. Apple continues to be fined by the Dutch consumer and markets authority for its failure to comply with a previous ruling, which allows for third-party payment methods for Dutch dating apps. The authority says that despite Apple’s announcement and plan to let eligible developers use a third-party payment method for in-app purchases, Apple still fails to comply with the new ruling. Apple has been fined €50 million as a consequence.

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