Earlier this week, a counsel which represents 67,000 software app developers asked a California federal judge to award them with $27 million in attorney fees for securing a $100 million settlement in an antitrust class action against Apple.
The accusation was that Apple holds a monopoly over the App Store, charging 30 per cent fees, and the attorneys representing these app developers argued that given the millions that have been spent up front, and the time investment required to battle the tech giant Apple, the judge should also award $3.5 million for expenses in addition to a $5,000 award to each of the two class representatives.
Additionally, the attorneys argued that other projects had to be abandoned to focus on this case, which added significant risk.
"These risks include those that attend antitrust cases in general, widely acknowledged as some of the most complex cases," said the developers.
"In addition, here plaintiffs challenged the business model of one of the largest and most well-lawyered companies in the world, presenting novel and complex issues of procedural and antitrust law."
Terms of the deal
This deal would cover smaller developers - those making less than $1 million from the App Store annually - and a final fairness hearing is set to take place on June 7 2022.
The terms of the deal were preliminarily approved by US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in November 2021, wherein developers would receive at least $250 each and the highest payout was estimated to be $30,000.
In these two years of litigation, the developers counsel claim to have collaborated with Epic’s legal team as well as other lawyers representing the consumer group to gather important information. This would apparently support theories of class-wide impacts and Apple's potential damages.
Attorneys were also able to obtain an order that compels the depositions of Apple CEO Tim Cook, senior VP of services Eddy Cue, and senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi.
In January, attorney generals across US 34 states argued that Apple stifles competition on the App Store and that it is monopolising app marketplace distribution.