App Developers sue Apple saying Apple Store monopolizes the iOS app market

Two app developers are suing Apple in US federal court maintaining that Apple has had a monopoly regarding the sale and distribution over iOS apps. Their goal is to break-up Apple’s ‘improper monopolization’ in this market area. The lawsuit filed is seeking a class action status, therefore it potentially could represent anyone in the US who has ever sold Apple an iOS app.

The two developers are companies who have developed a baby naming app and a basketball workout app. Their claim is that Apple ‘stifles’ innovation and keeps purchases of iOS apps to a minimum and limits development because of Apple’s strict rules. They complain of Apple’s annual fee of $99 for app developers and that app developers must pay Apple a 30% commission on most transactions. They are also against Apple’s requirement that all pricing end with a .99.

Their main issue though is that there is only one place to distribute iOS apps – in the Apple Store. But isn’t Apple the company that developed its iOS system? And it created its own app products to work with it?  Never-the-less the two app developers as plaintiffs in the case claim its unfair. 

They would like to see other iOS app stores to encourage competition and improve the market for developers. This they say would be good because it would encourage Apple to be innovative to keep their Apple Store ahead of the game as well as make it competitive for developers to get better deals to sell their products on more than one iOs platform.

They say that if the app they have developed is rejected by Apple they have no where else to go to post the availability of their app. Well then, redevelop your app in a PC OS language. According to Google there are nine other app store alternatives where they could post their apps for use by Android systems.

Unfortunately for Apple, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is working to have Apple’s empire broken up. This is because Apple along with other tech giants wields a lot of power in the tech industry. Also, a Supreme Court ruling from May 2019 is now allowing consumers to sue Apple for its monopoly in its Apple store.

It looks like Apple’s way to deal with this issue will be through the court system and it may be a long battle. But Apple has already created a website spreading its message that it is pro-competition because it allows other third party apps to compete with its own developed apps in its Apple Store. It doesn’t really have to do this. 

Apple developed its own iOS system to be competitive with other PC OS systems. It developed its own apps to be compatible with its iOS system. Then it gave the opportunity for app developers who like using the iOS system to promote and sell their app products in the Apple Store. 

Reply