Apple must be going through a difficult time right now. It has been reported that Dr. Rachael Kent, who is a lecturer in the digital economy, has accused Apple of overcharging the public who made purchases for apps through the App Store. To clarify it further, Apple has made an illegal attempt to gain excessive profits by forcing the developers to exclude any competition and forcing the users to make their transactions through the App Store. In this way, Apple has taken about 30% of the commission on these purchases, which in turn put the burden on consumers when the apps they purchased had raised their prices to compensate Apple for its commission.
Dr. Rachael Kent granted this case to London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal. If Apple loses this case, then around 19.6 billion users who have made purchases through the App Store would be compensated by a share of £1.5 billion as a reimbursement. And this has been counted since October 2015, which is huge. However, the whole proceedings of the case will take place at the beginning of the year 2023 in London. The claim has been made on the apps which are in demand these days, including Youtube, Fortnite, Tinder, and many others. All such apps require a condition for the purchase that a subscription payment is to be made before downloading them.
According to Dr. Kent, who is also being represented by the law firm Hausfeld & Co., “This is excellent news for App Store users in the UK. I applaud the Competition Appeal Tribunal for this clear and well-thought-out decision. A claim of this magnitude is always going to be heavily defended. The anti-competitive practices that we are alleging against Apple go to the heart of Apple’s business strategy, and with its almost unlimited resources, it will always make this a challenging fight. We look forward now to progressing the case on behalf of consumers and businesses. “
The claim was made by Dr. Kent last year, and in response, Apple proclaimed that it doesn’t agree with Dr. Kent’s remarks and said that “Dr. Kent had applied the wrong legal test and her claim was therefore defective.” However, the London Competition Appeal Tribunal has rejected all these arguments and said that what Dr. Kent is saying seems more credible as per the proof and that Kent has applied the correct legal tests.
Ben Tidswell, who is acting as the Chairman of the Tribunal, stated, “We do not accept Apple’s argument that the pleadings disclose a legal error or defective approach, either about the correct legal test for the abuse or for the consideration of economic value in that exercise.” When this lawsuit was filed against Apple back last year, Apple stated, “We believe this lawsuit is meritless and welcome the opportunity to discuss with the court our unwavering commitment to consumers and the many benefits the App Store has delivered to the UK’s innovation economy. 84 percent of apps on the App Store are free, and developers pay Apple nothing. “
Now, let’s see how Apple will handle this situation and come out of the hot waters by keeping in mind its reputation in the market as well.