French Developers Sue Apple in US Court Over App Store Fees

App Store

Apple has been sued in U.S. federal court by French app developers who accuse the tech giant of overcharging them to use its App Store, thus violating American antitrust law.

As Reuters reported Monday (Aug. 1), the plaintiffs in the proposed class-action case include Société du Figaro, which created the Figaro news app; L’Équipe 24/24, of the L’Équipe sports news and streaming app, and Le Geste, a consortium of French content providers.

“There is no valid business necessity or pro-competitive justification for Apple’s conduct,” the complaint said. “Instead, Apple’s actions are designed to destroy competition.”

See also: Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Apple Pay of $1B a Year in Illegal Fees

Apple did not immediately reply to requests for comment Monday afternoon.

According to Reuters, the complaint, filed in federal court in Oakland, California, seeks an injunction against further anticompetitive action, as well as triple damages for violating federal antitrust law and California state laws.

Reuters said the plaintiffs are represented by the U.S. law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, and Parisian firm Fayrouze Masmi-Dazi.

Hagens Berman won a $100 million settlement from Apple on behalf of U.S. app developers in August 2021.

Last month, Hagens Berman filed another class-action suit against Apple, accusing the company of violating antitrust rules by using its Apple Pay to illegally profit from payment card issuers to the tune of $1 billion a year.

Read more: Apple Fights Big Tech Regulation Over App Payments

“In the Android ecosystem, where multiple digital wallets compete, there are no issuer fees whatsoever, ” said the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “The upshot is that card issuers pay a reported $1 billion annually in fees on Apple Pay and $0 for accessing functionally identical Android wallets. If Apple faced competition, it could not sustain these substantial fees.”

Apple App Store rules have been criticized by regulators around the world. The Netherlands has levied millions of dollars in fines against the company for failing to comply with a 2021 order to adjust the conditions in the store to let dating apps offer alternative payment methods.