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Australian App Users Launch Class Actions Against Apple And Google

Aussie Apple and Android users are rallying together to launch class action lawsuits against both US tech giants over the claim that app developers were forced to use their payment systems, which resulted in increased consumer costs.

The class action on behalf of Aussie consumers claims that in using their market power to corner app developers into using them and taking a 30 percent commission, both Apple and Google have breached Australian consumer law.

Apple and Google allegedly have “a substantial degree of power in the markets for the purchase”, which required developers to enter into non-negotiable contracts that the tech could make amendments to that were not necessary for business interests without consent.

Both Apple and Google have been in hot water over their market dominance over the app market for some time now, also in legal battles with Epic Games, and have been called “a defacto tax on the internet” by Elon Musk.

The ACCC has published several reports that outline the danger of Apple and Google’s market power.

“The ACCC is also concerned with restrictions imposed by Apple and Google which mean developers have no choice but to use Apple and Google’s own payment systems for any in-app purchases,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in April last year.

The ACCC, who believe that the Competition and Consumer Act and Australian Consumer law is not up to date and cannot keep up with the fast-developing digital platforms, are expected to make a submission to the treasury that will introduce a new regulatory framework that promotes market competition and consumer experience.

Apple labeled these accusations as “draconian”.

The new lawsuits estimate that of the 20.6 million smartphones in Australia, 55% are iPhones while the remaining 45% use the Android operating system.

Google has since released a statement responding to the class action lawsuit.

“Android gives people more choice than any other mobile platform in deciding which apps and app stores they use – most Android phones come preloaded with more than one app store. We compete vigorously and fairly for developers and consumers,” said a company spokesperson.

Google Play is the first major platform to move away from one-size-fits-all pricing to meet developers’ different needs and our fees are the lowest among major app stores. Today, just around 3% of developers are subject to a service fee and 99% of those developers qualify for a service fee of 15% or less.”

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