Apple announced in August last year that it planned to pay $100 million to resolve a class-action lawsuit filed by U.S. developers. From today, Apple has launched a website for developers to submit claims.
Apple’s $100 million will be distributed as part of a Small Developer Assistance Fund, where developers can claim compensation ranging from $250 to $30,000 based on their historical App Store engagement. Applications can now be submitted using the small developer assistance website, which also has tools for estimating claims.
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To be eligible for a claim, an app from a U.S. developer must meet the following criteria:
- Is sold at a non-zero price.
- sold through Apple’s iOS App Store from 2015 to 2021; and any other iOS applications or in-app products (including subscriptions) sold through all relevant developer accounts during each calendar year from 2015 to 2021, Earn $1M or less through the App Store US storefront where you have a developer account.
According to the settlement, there are approximately 67,000 qualified developers. Developers earning less than $100 will receive a potential minimum payout of $250, while developers earning over $1 million will be entitled to a payout of $30,000. The minimum payment will vary based on the total number of claims.
The lawsuit dates back to 2019 when a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its App Store monopoly to impose commissions that “hurt profits. ” The lawsuit contests Apple’s 30 percent cut of App Store sales, largely settled by Apple’s announcement in late 2020 that the App Store Small Business Program would cut the commission small developers must pay to 15 percent. this question.
While paying developers $100 million, Apple also agreed to make some other concessions. Perhaps the biggest concession is that Apple will allow developers to use communication methods such as email to share information about payment methods outside of iOS apps. For purchases made outside the App Store, developers will not have to pay Apple a commission.
Apple is also expanding the number of subscription price points it offers developers, and the company has agreed to maintain the App Store Small Business Program and App Store Search without making any changes for at least three years. Apple also pledged to continue giving developers the option to appeal app rejections and will create an annual transparency report based on App Store data, covering app rejections, apps removed from the App Store, search information, and more.
Developers will need to file a claim by May 20, 2022, to receive payment from Apple, and a final approval hearing will be held on June 7, 2022. The actual payment date will vary based on whether there are objections, how long it will take to resolve them, and whether the agreement is finalized by the court.