Apple, Devs: $100M Class Action Suit

Apple settled a 2019 class action lawsuit filed by app developers and will now allow developers to connect directly to users and expand alternative payment options, the company said in a blog entry.

The move gives developers the ability to email their users and provides alternative payment options for subscriptions and other in-app purchases, bypassing Apple’s commission, which was between 15 and 30 percent. The concession allows email notifications from developers to users, but not in-app notifications.

See also: U.S. Senate bill focuses on rules for App Store payment systems

Some aspects of the settlement are in line with the allegations made by Fortnite game maker Epic, a case pending a final decision in federal court. This lawsuit arose out of Epic’s move to bypass Apple’s in-app payment system and offer its players another payment option. In return, Apple banned Epic from the App Store for violating its terms.

See also: Musk calls Apple’s App Store fees a “tax” and supports Epic Games

As part of the settlement, Apple is establishing a $ 100 million fund – the Small Developer Assistance Fund – for app developers who made less than $ 1 million from app store sales from June 2015 to April 2021. Apple said in the blog post that it will apply to 99 percent of the developers, more details to follow.

It is estimated that developers will be eligible for amounts between $ 250 and $ 30,000 from the new Apple fund “based on their historical involvement in the App Store ecosystem,” according to a Press release from Hagens Berman law firm, which is part of the legal team that filed the class action on behalf of the developers. The law firms Sperling & Slater, Saveri & Saveri and Freed Kanner were also part of the 2019 suit.

See also: Apple beaten with EU antitrust violations over Spotify’s App Store complaint

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court for the Northern District of California has yet to agree to the settlement. She is the same judge presiding over the Epic Games lawsuit against Apple.

The app developer and one of the plaintiffs Richard Czeslawski called the comparison, according to a press release, a “big deal”.

“We have gained the ability to use contact information from logins in our app to communicate with our users outside of the app about buying alternatives to IAP. It’s a big deal. “

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