Apple Announces Tentative Settlement of One of Several App Store-Related Lawsuits

This lawsuit is similar to, but different from the iPhone maker’s ongoing legal battle with “Fortnite” developer Epic Games

Apple announced Thursday that it has reached a tentative settlement to a class action lawsuit filed by app creators, and agreed to create a $100 million fund to pay out small app developers.

The lawsuit — Cameron, et al. v. Apple Inc., was filed in June 2019, and is pending approval from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in U.S. District Court in Northern California. Rogers is the same judge presiding over the Epic Games lawsuit and also consumer lawsuits against Apple.

Besides sharing a judge, this about-to-be settled case is different from the very similar case that Apple is fighting against “Fortnite” creator Epic Games, which is still ongoing and pending a decision from a federal judge.

Consumers have also sued Apple, and the Supreme Court last May allowed an antitrust case brought by consumers that alleges Apple used monopoly power to raise iPhone prices to move forward with litigation.

“In a validation of the App Store Small Business Program’s success, Apple and the developers agreed to maintain the program in its current structure for at least the next three years,” Apple said in a statement Thursday evening.

“Businesses earning less than $1 million annually will continue to benefit from the reduced commission, while larger developers pay the App Store’s standard commission on app purchases and in-app payments,” Apple added.

According to the New York Times, Apple agreed to keep its commission rate for small developers at 15%, which it scaled down from 30% in 2020. Apple also promised to offer more price points for developers using the App Store, increasing that number from “fewer than 100 to more than 500.”

Payments for the class action plaintiffs range from $250 to $30,000 — Variety reports over half the class will receive $250, while 6% will receive $2,000. Only 1% of the class is eligible for up to $30,000 payouts.

Attorney for the plaintiffs Steve Berman told the Times, “we truly are proud that a case brought by two developers, standing in the shoes of tens of thousands of U.S. iOS developers, could help to bring about so much important change.”


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