Once again in the Netherlands’ sights: Apple could be fined 5.5 billion euros

The Dutch Consumer Competition Claims Foundation, through a press release, states that it will file a class action lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the Cupertino giant would be monopolizing the market and abusing its dominant position by charging fees for App Store developers — the same reason that started the lengthy battle between Steve Jobs’ company and Epic Games. In compensation for damages, the foundation is seeking damages worth €5.5 billion, or about $6.13 billion at current rates.

According to the organization, the lawsuit will be initiated on behalf of any iPhone or iPad owner in the European Union (EU) who has downloaded a paid app or made in-app purchases since 2009.

The foundation publicized the suit because it also calls for active participation by EU consumers until the submission of documentation, which is due to be submitted shortly to the Amsterdam District Court.

Consumers and Developers x App Store

It is worth mentioning that having filed the suit on behalf of consumers, and not developers, is something that can be considered unusual, since most companies that have filed legal appeals against Apple have done so in favor of the owners of apps that were impacted by App Store taxation policies.

But the Consumer Competition Claims Foundation’s point of view is valid: the organization claims that once developer fees are collected, they are passed on to consumers which ultimately leads to apps being sold for higher prices.

“App developers are forced to pass on to consumers the increased costs caused by Apple’s monopolistic practices and unfair terms,” ​​the foundation wrote in the statement.

This is not the first time Dutch authorities have filed a lawsuit against Apple. In January, for example, the company was fined €5 million weekly by the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the Netherlands’ competition regulator, for not allowing external payment methods for dating apps.

While Apple is currently working to find a consensus in these cases, it is possible that the company still has a lot of work to do in the EU, as the organization is on the verge of releasing the Digital Markets Act, which provides that tech giants such as Apple itself and also Google, allow alternatives for payments in their respective online stores.

Via: Engadget

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