Apple has agreed to pay $100 million and make improvements to the App Store, but a judge has raised questions over the $27 million lawyer cost.
Judge Yvonne-Gonzalez Rogers, who is supervising the case, said Tuesday that she intends to approve the settlement, but she expressed reservations about the amount the attorneys will charge.
Rogers wants additional information on the “math” underlying the $27 million attorney fee asked, as well as how much the price will reduce claims from small developers.
She wants a statistical explanation of how much less each class member would get if she awarded $25 million in attorney costs rather than $27 million in attorney fees.
Rogers believes the difference might be considered for certain developers, which is why she wants to “see the statistics.”
Apple noted out in March that the $27 million charges is larger than the Ninth Circuit Court’s 25 percent threshold.
The settlement is known as the Small Developer Assistance Fund, and it began taking claims from developers in January.
Apple reminded developers that they had until May 20 to make a claim via the website, and they had received many reminders.
Developers were able to claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic App Store participation.
There were around 67,000 developers that qualified.
Developers who earn less than $100 will receive a reward of $250 as a minimum.
Those who made more than $1 million, on the other hand, will be eligible for a higher-end reward.
Minimum payments may differ depending on the overall number of claims.
The agreement originates from a lawsuit filed in 2019 by a group of iOS developers who accused Apple of abusing its monopoly on the App Store to impose “profit-killing” fees.
The developers were unhappy with Apple’s 30 percent cut of App Store sales, an issue that was addressed with the App Store Small Business Program that dropped the commission those small developers have to pay to 15 percent.
In addition to paying a $100 settlement fee, Apple agreed to allow developers to provide information about payment options accessible outside of the App Store through email, and Apple increased the number of subscription pricing points available to developers.
Apple has promised to keep the App Store Small Business Program and App Store search the same for at least three years, as well as provide an annual transparency report based on App Store data that includes app rejections, app removals, and search statistics, and more.
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.