Apple is being sued by a pair of app makers, and the timing could not be more awkward
- Two app makers have launched an antitrust class-action lawsuit against Apple.
- The plaintiffs allege Apple abuses the dominance of its App Store to make developers pay "exorbitant" fees for premium apps and in-app purchases.
- The suit comes just as reports swirl that the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are preparing antitrust investigations into the Silicon Valley giants, including Apple.
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The developers behind a basketball workout and a baby naming app are taking Apple to court - and the timing could not be more awkward for the iPhone maker.
In a suit filed in San Jose Federal court on Tuesday by "Pure Sweat Basketball" and the cofounder of "Lil' Baby Names," the app makers accused Apple of crushing competition by abusing the dominance of its App Store."From the outset, Apple attained monopoly power in the U.S. market for iOS app and in-app product distribution services by slamming the door shut on any and all potential competitors," the suit alleges.
The plaintiffs take issue with the way Apple takes a 30% commission on paid apps and in-app payments, as well as the $99 annual fee Apple collects from developers who sell through the App Store.
The suit describes these charges as "exorbitant." The plaintiffs are seeking to start a wider class-action, with other app developers joining the fold. A Supreme Court ruling last month laid the groundwork for class-action suits against Apple's App Store practices.
This isn't the first time app developers have come after Apple for its 30% cut of App Store purchases, either. Music streaming giant Spotify lodged an antitrust with the EU in March on the same grounds.
The San Jose suit comes at an uncomfortable moment for Apple, amid reports that US President Donald Trump's administration is preparing antitrust investigations into big tech.The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have reportedly carved up Silicon Valley companies for increased antitrust scrutiny. Reuters reported that oversight of Apple had been handed to the DOJ.
Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider.