Apple failed to recognize the antitrust lawsuit against the App Store as a class action. A federal judge in Oakland, California, declined to hear a lawsuit on behalf of 400 million US users who bought apps and made microtransactions on the App Store.
But all is not lost: the judge allowed the plaintiffs to resubmit their application. If their decision is upheld, Apple is almost guaranteed to get rid of the looming multibillion-dollar damages payout in a decades-old case. However, consumer advocate Mark Rifkin is optimistic and confident that the judge’s decision will ultimately be positive.
Class-action status will give plaintiffs an opportunity to seek an out-of-court settlement in the App Store dispute – analysts estimate that the App Store brings in more than $20 billion to Apple annually. Consumer advocates said in November the damage in the case could range from $7 billion to $10 billion.
Recall that at the same time, Apple is suing Epic Games, which were not satisfied with excessive commission rates for all transactions in the App Store. The case has drawn the attention of numerous regulators around the world – in some countries there are increasing calls for the company to give up its monopoly on accepting payments in the app store.