The Dutch Consumer Claims Corporation is demanding billions of euros from Apple, because Europeans with iPhones and iPads have been paying a lot of money for App Store purchases and so-called in-app purchases for years. According to the claims organization, millions of Dutch and European consumers suffer damages due to Apple’s restrictive terms. On their behalf, compensation of nearly five billion euros was claimed.
People can already Enterprise Report If they purchased an app at least once after September 1, 2009, or made an in-app purchase. Apple charges app developers in the App Store a huge commission on all payments they receive. The organization found that Apple charges exorbitant prices. The American company has been blamed for this and the foundation wants to fight the case, which is reported by various media, in court.
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Claims Case Series
This is not the first case that has been brought from the Netherlands against Apple. Last month, the App Stores Claims Foundation announced that it would file a lawsuit against Apple and Google. The organization, headed by journalist and tech entrepreneur Alexander Klopping, noted that in recent years the Dutch have paid up to 1 billion euros too much for purchases via their app stores. The Netherlands is certainly not the only country where such allegations against Google and Apple are on the table. In the UK, for example, a similar campaign was launched last year.
“It’s the third in a series of large claims cases, and I suspect it’s simply because there’s gold to make,” says Simon Hania, NLnet’s chairman. There are often parties that find it interesting to fund and organize such a claim. You have to pay lawyers, collect evidence, and prove that you are a representative of the widest possible group of users. All this costs money. Behind this party are investors. They prefer pre-financing, but they want to get a certain percentage of each person receiving the money. Dutch law sets a maximum of twenty percent. “But twenty percent of five billion is of course a very good amount,” Hania says.
According to Hania, Dutch judges will be very busy with broad claims cases. “They will have to assess whether these three claims are about the same and whether the claims are roughly the same, and then they will try to push for a merger. Or, failing that, decide which one is more representative. So the first step is a lot of procedural discussions. Then you get a stage where the lawsuit goes to court, which again takes a lot of work, and then you get appeal forms.So that’s going to take some time.
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Hania explains that at least one of the claims issues will go forward. Or because they made a deal together, or because it’s the judge who makes the decision. It’s more attractive if they go together, but then they also have to agree on how to split the loot. Then they must try to prove this claim. This is a risk they are taking, and they will not be able to. This is not easy, because you have to prove that the damage has already been done. Everyone has their own way of purchasing apps, so the damage will be different for each person.
Hania continues, “You see that Apple, like the other parties responsible for such matters, should play on multiple chessboards.” Apple is of course involved with the Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority. New legislation has also been announced in Europe that makes it tougher for Europe, and the others are these lawsuits. Meanwhile, a fine from ACM looms, which could be increased to ten percent of its annual turnover in Europe under the new law. Claims continue on their own, and this is still a concern. Holland is the first domino to fall, giving it a European look.