Apple seeks dismissal of $800 million COVID app lawsuit

“This case is borne of a developer’s dissatisfaction with Apple’s lawful efforts … to ensure the App Store was a place where consumers could find trustworthy and reliable coronavirus-related apps”

What you need to know

  • Apple has filed a motion to dismiss an $800 million COVID lawsuit.
  • Coronavirus Reporter sued Apple after its app was rejected from the App Store.
  • Apple said the lawsuit showed “a cavalier disregard for the law and facts.”

Apple has filed a motion to dismiss an $800 million lawsuit filed by a company after its COVID-19 app was rejected from the App Store.

From Law360:

Apple filed a motion to dismiss on Monday in an $800 million case brought by Coronavirus Reporter alleging that rejection of its app breached its contract with Apple and violated antitrust law.

The motion argued that Apple’s commitment to offering high-quality and reliable apps in its store took on added significance during the early days of the global coronavirus pandemic and that this required the company to evaluate apps to make sure they were credible and “supported by established medical and scientific institutions.”

Apple told the court the case was ” borne of a developer’s dissatisfaction with Apple’s lawful efforts … to ensure the App Store was a place where consumers could find trustworthy and reliable coronavirus-related apps” and that the claims “exhibit a cavalier disregard for the law and facts” bordering on frivolous.

Apple was sued in New Hampshire by Coronavirus Reporter, after the latter’s app was rejected by Apple in March 2020. Apple’s own policy decision was to only approve apps relating to the pandemic from “recognized institutions such as government, hospital, insurance company, NGO, or a university.”

According to the report, Apple said the app lacked “deeply rooted medical credentials.” The suit claimed Apple was exercising its monopoly and market power. From the report:

“Instead, plaintiff relies on bald (and facially implausible) assertions that Apple is a monopolist and has market power,” the motion said. “Such allegations plainly do not suffice.”

Apple is also seeking to have the suit moved to a California court based on a clause in its App Store developer agreement.

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