French app developers sue Apple citing anti-competitive conduct

French app developers v Apple Lawsuit

Although Apple wages court war against other firms from time to time, the Cupertino Tech giant has faced numerous lawsuits itself, including ones about storing user data for iCloud on third-party servers, copying diverse emoji, and iPhone water resistance claims.

In the latest case, Société du Figaro et al. v Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-04437, French app developers have sued Apple stating that the tech giant violates U.S. antitrust law. It cites the company's annual fees, and its “supracompetitive” 30 percent commissions. The complaint points out that Apple took advantage of its monopoly power over app distribution on iOS-based mobile devices by mandating only one app store for them.

The complaint filed in the federal court in Oakland, California, stated:

There is no valid business necessity or pro-competitive justification for Apple's conduct. Instead, Apple's actions are designed to destroy competition.

The developer of the Figaro news app - Société du Figaro, the developer of the L 'Équipe sports news and streaming app - L 'Équipe 24/24, and the association of French content providers—Le Geste are among the plaintiffs. They are represented by the U.S. law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, and Paris-based Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi, in the proposed class action.

The plaintiffs mentioned that Apple's 30 percent commissions for 14 years along with $99 annual fees to app developers stifle innovation and consumer choice. They seek triple damages for violating federal antitrust law and California state laws, along with a ruling against further anticompetitive behavior.

Source: Reuters

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