Apple Inc. has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit with software developers who have challenged the tech giant’s practices in connection with the App Store.
The proposed settlement leaked Thursday marks the latest step in legal battles Apple has had in recent years with small businesses as well as larger entities such as Epic Games Inc., Match Group Inc. and Facebook Inc. that distribute apps. via its platform. Some of these disputes involving the company’s app store practices have gone to the Supreme Court.
Apple launched the App Store in 2008 and has since focused on the service business to generate revenue and profit. It has also been criticized by developers, regulators and lawmakers over alleged anti-competitive practices in connection with the App Store. The company has lowered App Store fees for small developers, among other concessions, and has widely defended its business practices and touted the economic opportunities of its software ecosystem.
Here’s what the regulation means and how it could shape its relationship with developers going forward.
What were the terms of the settlement?
Apple agreed to settle the claims – without admitting to wrongdoing – brought in a federal lawsuit in 2019 that it had a monopoly on distributing iOS apps and had withdrawn excessive commissions from software developers.