Apple’s App Store Class-Action Settlement: What Does It Mean for Developers?

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Apple Inc. agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit with software developers who challenged the tech giant’s practices in connection with the App Store.  

The proposed settlement disclosed Thursday marks the latest step in legal battles Apple has had in recent years with small companies as well as larger entities such as Epic Games Inc., Match Group Inc . and  Facebook Inc. that distribute apps through its platform. Some of those disputes involving the company’s App Store practices have gone as far as the Supreme Court.  

Apple launched the App Store in 2008 and has since sharpened its focus on services business to drive revenue and profits. It has also fielded criticism from developers, regulators and lawmakers over alleged anticompetitive practices in connection with the App Store. The company has lowered App Store fees for smaller developers among other concessions and has largely defended its business practices and touted the economic opportunities of its software ecosystem. 

Here is what the settlement means and how it could shape its relationship with developers going forward. 

What were the terms of the settlement? 

Apple agreed to settle claims—without admitting wrongdoing—brought in a 2019 federal lawsuit that it held monopoly power over the distribution of iOS apps and extracted excessive commissions from software developers. 

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