Apple one step closer to settling $100M App Store lawsuit with developers

"..the Court GRANTS the motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement."

What you need to know

  • A lawsuit filed against Apple by developers is one step closer to being settled.
  • A $100M deal has gained preliminary approval from the courts.
  • A class action was filed in 2019 over claims Apple has a monopoly over its App Store and App distribution.

A class-action lawsuit filed against Apple by developers is nearing settlement after a judge granted preliminary approval to the $100M deal.

In a court order from Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is also overseeing the Epic Games trial, the court granted a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement:

Having considered the motion briefing, the arguments of counsel, the relevant law, the terms of the settlement agreement and the class notice, as well as the record in this case, and based on the reasons and terms set forth herein, the Court GRANTS the motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement.

The settlement, which has been called a sham by the Epic Games-backed Coalition for App Fairness, was announced by Apple in August. At the time the company stated:

The agreement clarifies that developers can share purchase options with users outside of their iOS app; expands the price points developers can offer for subscriptions, in-app purchases, and paid apps; and establishes a new fund to assist qualifying US developers. The updates constitute the latest chapter of Apple's longstanding efforts to evolve the App Store into an even better marketplace for users and developers alike.

Concessions to developers include maintaining the App Store Small Business Program, basing search results on downloads and ratings, expanding the price points of apps, and importantly, letting developers tell their customers about other ways to pay beyond iOS. It also includes a fund to assist small US developers:

Apple will also establish a fund to assist small US developers, particularly as the world continues to suffer from the effects of COVID-19. Eligible developers must have earned $1 million or less through the US storefront for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021 — encompassing 99 percent of developers in the US. Details will be available at a later date.

Thanks to the settlement, 51% of the class (exstimated to be some 67,000 developers), will get $250. Other payouts will range as follows:

  • 51% will get a minimum payment of $250
  • 23% will get a minimum payment of $500
  • 11% will get a minimum payment of $1,000
  • 4% will get a minimum payment of $1,500
  • 6% will get a minimum payment of $2,000
  • 2% will get a minimum payment of $3,500
  • 2% will get a minimum payment of $ 5,000
  • 1% will get a minimum payment of $10,000
  • 1% will get a minimum payment of $20,000
  • 1% will get a minimum payment of $30,000

Developers have until March 21, 2022, to exclude themselves from the settlement.

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Technology