Bundled action against Apple and Google
In recent years, Apple and Google have been investigated and were imposed billions in fines by competent authorities in Europe and the United States in several antitrust cases. Both companies have used their dominant position in order to sustain a monopoly in the app stores in Android and iOS. Apple fully controls the distribution of apps to its users and requires that app developers use Apple’s In-App Purchase payment processing system for App Store and in-app purchases. Google Play’s billing system is also required for developers offering in-app purchases of digital goods and services distributed on Google Play.
In September 2021, the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in the “EPIC GAMES, INC. vs APPLE INC.” case that issued an injunction according to which Apple is no longer allowed to prohibit developers from providing links or other communications that direct users away from Apple’s In-App Purchase payment processing system.
Under the In-App Purchase and Google Play payment processing systems, Apple and Google collect payments made to developers, remit 70 % to developers and keep the remaining 30 %. That means Apple and Google have charged app developers 30 % commission for every sale made either directly in the Google Play or Apple App Store (paid apps) or within any particular application (in-app digital purchases), while they have not allowed developers to use any alternative system of processing payment transactions.
In December 2021, the Rotterdam District Court ruled that Apple must comply with the decision of the Dutch Authority for the Consumers and Markets (ACM) according to which Apple must adjust its unreasonable conditions, such as its 30 % commission.
As a result of these potentially unlawful practices, app developers suffered damages since the 30 % transaction fee was considered excessive and they did not have access to any other alternative system of payment. Therefore, all app developers who distributed their applications via Google Play or Apple App Store within EU countries and received payments either for their applications or for in-app purchases via Google Play or Apple App Store proprietary billing systems may be entitled to claim compensation.
Join our bundled action that can bring you financial compensation:
Antitrust cases require a high level of specialised legal and economic expertise and adequate funding.
We offer risk-free enforcement of your claims, either in an out-of-court settlement or, if settlement discussions remain unsuccessful, in group litigation. LitFin covers all costs and risks, takes care of the entire process management and will receive a commission only in the event of success. Only if we manage to get you financial compensation, you will pay a fee of 27,5 %. If we don’t get compensation for our clients, we don’t get paid.
LitFin is an expert in complex litigation funding with a special focus on damages compensation in antitrust and competition law cases, arbitrations, insolvency and related activities. From the position of one of the major litigation funders in the EU with a portfolio of claims that exceeds the value of EUR 1 billion, LitFin enables its clients to finance claims they would not be able or would not want to pursue on their own. .
We are currently working with freight carriers to obtain compensation from the Truck Cartel and from the Federal Republic of Germany for overpriced toll payments. We are working with farmers on securing their claims in the Pesticide Cartel as well. Also in Germany, we are helping investors recover lost investments in the Wirecard scandal. In Belgium, we are ensuring that injured companies receive fair compensation for unjustified fees from MasterCard and Visa, and we are also helping numerous other clients in their specific legal disputes in many jurisdictions. Our customers and partners are located in more than ten European countries, especially in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
App developers who distributed their applications via Google Play or Apple App Store within EU countries and received payments either for their applications or for in-app purchases via Google Play or Apple App Store proprietary billing systems.
There is no up-front cost to join the claim and we operate on a “no win - no fee” basis. You will not have to pay anything to assert your rights. Only if we manage to get you financial compensation, you will pay a fee of 27,5 %.
There is a general agreement within the industry experts, that in case of more payment processors being allowed to offer their services within Google Play or Apple App Store, the commision fees could decline for as much as 50 to 90 %. With such a level of estimated overcharge, potential damage of every app developer would be in range of 50 to 90 % of total commissions charged by Google and Apple during the given time period for app payments or in-app purchases. Furthermore, the interest rate should be added up as well, especially when taking into account the long duration of the unlawful activities.
We will contact you and discuss the process and details of the procedure with you. Then you will receive all relevant information and documents so that you can decide whether to join the bundled action. You will also be granted access to the member’s section. In case you join the bundled action, you will still be the owner of your claim. You will work together with your lawyer at the cost of LitFin. Your lawyer will represent you and other claimants in court.
To participate in the claim and in order to assert claims for damages, you will need to upload all documents relating to commissions charged for app sales and in-app purchases. These could be for example invoices, accounting records, statement of bank account or proof of payments of your accounting. Once you are registered, we will provide you with detailed instructions on the type of documents, their source and how to provide us with this information in the member’s section.
LitFin checks all the received documents in cooperation with Stek for completeness and plausibility. Unless we have any queries, Stek will integrate your claims into the bundled claim. Of course, we will keep you informed about the status of the procedure on a regular basis and will be available for you to answer any questions that may arise.
It is difficult to predict how long the litigation process will take. Should we be able to reach an amicable settlement during the course of litigation, it would be much quicker, although additional time may be required in order to obtain court approval for the settlement. Frequent updates on the status of the litigation will be provided on our website.
These kinds of lawsuits are very expensive, which is why an isolated claim is usually only worthwhile for very large amounts of compensation. Moreover, having a funder on your side who has objectively examined the merits of the case and is prepared to invest the necessary capital dramatically improves your negotiating position and motivates the other party to enter into a settlement agreement.
If you have any further questions, please contact us by filling the form below and we will be glad to provide you with detailed information.
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