Apple on Thursday agreed to pay 100 100 million to settle a lawsuit with app developers and change one of its App Store rules, another legal headache related to the company’s control over mobile apps. Gone.
As part of the settlement, Apple said it would raise 100 100 million to fund small app developers and instruct developers via email to instruct users to pay for services outside of Apple’s payment system. Will allow That way, developers can avoid Apple’s commission on app sales. Apple also agreed not to raise the commission rate for small developers, which it has reduced from 30 percent last year to 15 percent for at least three years.
The settlement appears to be a small price to pay for the world’s richest company to avoid another extended legal battle that could have hit the iPhone App Store and put its business at greater risk.
Apple is awaiting a federal judge’s decision in a separate lawsuit against Epic Games, the maker of the popular game Fortnight, which seeks to force Apple to allow app developers to avoid the App Store commission altogether. Consumers have also sued Apple over its app commission, saying the US Supreme Court has allowed it to go to federal court and is seeking class action.
In a briefing with reporters, an Apple executive said Thursday’s settlement shows that smaller app developers are more likely to adhere to existing App Store policies, including lower commissions. However, big developers, who pay higher rates, keep complaining.
He also said that allowing Apple’s developers to tell consumers about alternative payment methods via email and other channels is a big discount. App developers will still be prevented from revealing other payment methods to users within their iPhone apps.
Apple has barred reporters from naming or directly referring to Apple executives.
Plaintiff’s attorney Steve Berman, who sought class action status in the lawsuit, said, “We are really proud that the lawsuit filed by two developers, who stand in the shoes of thousands of American iOS developers, can help.” Make a very important change. “
In the settlement, Apple agreed to reject or remove the number of these apps from its App Store, as well as publish an annual report on its search results statistics. The New York Times reported in 2019 that Apple has been preferring its apps over its competitors in search results. Apple agreed in the settlement that its search results would be “based on objective features” for at least three years.
The settlement is subject to the approval of U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers for the Northern District of California, the same judge who presided over the Epic Games and consumer lawsuits against Apple.
According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, developers who earned less than 10 1 million annually in the App Store from June 2015 to April 2021 are eligible to pay between $ 250 and 30 30,000 each from Apple’s proposed $ 100 million fund. ۔
Separately on Thursday, Apple said it would also allow news organizations to pay a 15 percent lower commission on subscriptions sold through its iPhone apps, but only if they use Apple’s news service, Apple. Subscribe to news The Times and some other news organizations have distanced themselves from Apple News in recent years, saying it has taken control of its relationships with readers and potential users.