Apple in August 2021 agreed to pay $100 million and make changes to the App Store to settle the class-action lawsuit brought by developers. Now, presiding Judge Yvonne-Gonzalez Rogers, has announced that she is planning to approve the settlement, but that she has some concerns over the “math” behind the $27 million in fees that the attorneys in the case are wanting to charge.
As reported by Law360, Rogers said that she wants more data on the “math” behind the $27 million attorney fee requested, and information about how much that fee will reduce claims by small developers.
Rogers said that for some developers, the difference could be significant, which is why she wants to “see the numbers.” The $27 million fee is higher than the 25 percent benchmark set by the Ninth Circuit Court.
In 2019, a group of iOS developers accused Apple of using its App Store monopoly to impose “profit-killing” commissions. The developers were upset with Apple’s 30% cut of the action. Apple later introduced the App Store Small Business Program, cutting commissions to 15% for developers making under $1 million in a calendar year.
Apple has been accepting submissions since January and developers had until May 20 to make a claim through the Small Developer Assistance website, which has tools for estimating payments.
Approximately 67,000 developers are said to be eligible for the payouts. Developers who earned less than $100 will get the minimum payment of $250, while those who earned more than $1 million will be entitled to a higher-end payment. Minimum payment amounts can change, based on the number of total claims.
The Small Developer Assistance Fund website says that it plans to distribute funds to developers who submitted a “timely and valid claim” as soon as possible.
Apple also agreed to maintain the App Store Small Business Program in its current structure for the next three years. The Cupertino company will allow developers to use communication methods like email to share information about payment methods available outside of their iOS apps.
There will also be additional App Store pricing options, the publication of an annual transparency report based on App Store data, and tools that allow developers to appeal the rejection of an app.