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Opinion
Tae Kim

Apple Settlement is Another Win for a Tech Giant

The smartphone maker should be thrilled over how little it had to give up in its agreement to resolve a class-action antitrust lawsuit from app developers.

At its essence, the App Store settlement is a nice pay day for class-action lawyers and a blessing of the status quo.

At its essence, the App Store settlement is a nice pay day for class-action lawyers and a blessing of the status quo.

Photographer: picture alliance

When a powerful technology company wants everyone to know it has made large concessions in its business practices, it pays to look at the fine print. Sometimes the details don’t match up with the rhetoric. That seems to be the case regarding Apple Inc.’s class-action settlement with app developers this week.

The smartphone giant announced Thursday that it reached an agreement, pending court approval, to resolve the lawsuit in which a group of 67,000 iOS developers alleged Apple’s App Store’s rules were anticompetitive and charged excessive fees. Terms of the settlement include the creation of a $100 million payout fund to app makers; a clarification that developers can email their customers about payment alternatives outside their apps; a pledge not to raise the App Store commission rate for three years; and a commitment not to change how the App Store search function works, again, for three years.