Stichting App Stores Claims announces collective actions against Apple and Google
Amsterdam 14 February 2022 - Stichting app stores claims announced two collective actions on behalf of app users against Apple and Google. The Foundation is acting on behalf of Dutch app store users who have purchased apps or made purchases within apps, through the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Apple and Google both have a dominant position through their respective operating systems (iOS and Android) and associated app stores. According to the Stichting, Apple and Google have abused these dominant positions, mainly by blocking users’ ability to pay for or apps and in-app purchases other than through the companies' own payment systems, which typically include an excessive 30% commission. Ordinary App Store Customers are the ultimate victims of this anti-competitive behaviour and entitled to compensation, since they foot the bill. The total estimated damage may amount to 1 billion Euro.
Chairman of the App Stores Claims Foundation is media entrepreneur Alexander Klöpping, who, as founder and former owner of the online news stand Blendle, has had first-hand experience with the abuse of dominance and anti-competitive behaviour by Apple and Google, which affects millions of Dutch app store users.
"This case is about the monopolistic behavior of the big tech companies, which ultimately affects millions of consumers. It is time for these companies to change their behavior. Therefore, we start today with the campaign ‘Big Tech, Fair Play’. We want to apply the law to enforce a behavioral change and ensure compensation is paid. That way we can stand up against these tech companies."
The Stichting app stores claims will bring the two cases under the new collective action regime (WAMCA). In doing so, the Stichting is assisted by Hausfeld Advocaten, which specializes, among other things, in collective actions and competition litigation. Hausfeld is bringing similar cases on behalf of app users in the United Kingdom. The proceedings in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are supported by economic research carried out by the firm AlixPartners. The European Commission and regulators worldwide have also already commented on or are still investigating the abuse of dominance by Apple and Google.
Dutch app users are called upon to participate in the actions via the website www.bigtechfairplay.nl.
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