“Le Figaro” and other applications file a complaint against Apple and its “monopoly”

The media Le Figaro, The Team and other French mobile apps filed lawsuits against Apple on Monday, August 1. They accuse the Apple brand of having violated competition law with its monopoly on the distribution of applications on the huge market represented by the iPhone.

Apple owns a “deliberate, anti-competitive and unjustifiable monopoly”, estimate the two French newspapers associated with the Gesture, an association which represents publishers of content and online services, according to the complaint filed in a court in San Jose. Like many other developers around the world, they criticize Apple for offering only one way to access users of the brand’s devices: the app store, an essential platform for downloading applications.

The Californian technology giant controls this platform for commission payments that publishers must pay to it on all purchases by their customers, at 30%, with exceptions. “Apple has cornered the market for distributing apps on iOS (…) but not because it has built the best store”argue the plaintiffs. “Apple deliberately built a monopoly by blocking potential competition through technical means and developer contracts.”

“Apple’s actions are designed to destroy competition”, assert their lawyers. They are asking for a jury trial, and are asking for a judge’s injunction to force Apple to change its practices, as well as damages. Their complaint cites excerpts from the judgment rendered after the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games, the publisher of the video game phenomenon Fortnite. Epic had filed a complaint in 2020 against the iPhone maker for abuse of a dominant position, accusing it of exercising a monopoly on the purchase of goods and services in its online store.

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Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request from AFP, is also battling on this subject with several American and European regulators. The company assures that the App Store is the best possible guarantee in terms of payment security and data confidentiality, and that allowing the download of applications outside this platform would pose security risks. More than a billion people worldwide use an iPhone, according to Backlinko.

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