Saturday, October 23, 2021

Apple rejecting apps is unfair competition

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A group of developers accusing Apple’s App Store of being a monopoly has updated its lawsuit in an attempt to draw an argument from the Epic Games case against Apple.

The judge ordered Apple to stop such practices, which included prohibiting developers from advertising third-party payment options within apps.

More specifically, the lawsuit addendum uses the fact that Apple was found guilty of violating California Unfair Competition Law with its anti-steering practices.

The class action lawsuit was first filed in July 2021, and claimed that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive business practices on the App Store. On Friday, the plaintiffs added an addendum to the lawsuit that clarifies “the impact of Epic on our case.”

“In this case, Apple prevents open, cross-platform information when it disallows valid apps,” the complaint reads.

The updated complaint tries to draw a comparison between anti-steering practices and the removal of apps that don’t adhere to Apple’s developer guidelines.

“Just like forbidding Epic to communicate with users about their platform, here, Plaintiffs are forbidden by Apple from informing the iOS user about their platform & applications, which were potentially lifesaving in the case of Coronavirus Reporter.”

That “open cross-platform information” line comes from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’ decision in Epic Games v. Apple. In her ruling, Gonzalez Rogers was specifically talking about cross-platform payment information within apps.

However, the lawsuit claims that Apple restricted “cross-platform information” by rejecting the plaintiff’s apps. Or, as the lawsuit puts it, “valid and important mobile apps.”

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