The $200 billion class action filed against Apple by App developer Primary Productions is moving forward in California with U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley presiding, according to Apple Insider and other media.
“This is a lawsuit representing the millions of independent entrepreneurs that serve as the fabric connecting our modern economy,” according to the filing, which also indicated that the class-action members will be added upon discovery.
The Atlantic City, New Jersey company originally filed the lawsuit in Maine in May, where it has company officers, but Apple successfully moved the case to California in August.
Primary Productions alleges that its cryptocurrency gaming app — developed by a team in Ukraine — was rejected by the Apple App store because it directly competed with Apple’s own apps that are similar in nature, according to the court documents. The suit claims it took the company seven years to develop the app.
The plaintiff’s app was intended to be educational and teach people about blockchain and crypto by giving users free digital currency to play with, the lawsuit indicates. Primary Productions accuses Apple of rejecting the application because it was in the midst of developing “Apple Arcade, targeting low-price and free-to-play games and entertainment software,” per the filing.
Aside from being wrongly rejected from the App Store, Primary Productions alleges that Apple is a monopoly that “restricts trade, communication, and free information exchange, all in violation of the Sherman Act.”
The company is suing Apple for violating the Sherman Act and breach of warranty. It’s seeking certification of the class, damages, injunctive relief, and a jury trial, according to a press release. Primary Productions is represented by Keith Mathews of Associated Attorneys of New England.
“Apple is a monopsony retail buyer of apps, and hence underpays developers, even those of free apps, when it disallows them or suppresses their ranking on the App Store,” said attorney Keith Mathews. “Broader than existing Apple antitrust litigation, this case finally protects independent developers of free apps.”