Apple to pay $25M to settle Family Sharing lawsuit 

The final approval hearing in April 2024 will determine the outcome of the settlement

Apple is to pay out $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its Family Sharing feature. The feature allows users and up to five family members to share access to apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books that they purchase.

The lawsuit, which was first filed in 2019, alleged that “Apple misrepresented the ability to use its Family Sharing feature to share subscriptions to apps.”

According to court documents, Apple denies any wrongdoing and states that it made no misleading misrepresentations. However, the company decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid further legal expenses.

The lawsuit claims that Apple advertised Family Sharing as an option on apps that did not actually support the feature. The court documents state that:

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“the vast majority of subscription-based apps, which is a growing percentage of Apple Apps, cannot be shared with designated family members.”

Despite this, these apps included statements on their landing pages claiming support for Family Sharing until January 30, 2019.

Millions of consumers downloaded subscription-based apps believing they were available for Family Sharing, only to discover after making a payment that they were not eligible. The lawsuit alleges that Apple was aware of this discrepancy but still placed ads for Family Sharing on these apps.

As part of the settlement, U.S. residents who were enrolled in a Family Sharing group with at least one other person between June 21, 2015, and January 30, 2019, and purchased a subscription to an app from the App Store during that time may be eligible for a payment.

Each class member can file a claim and receive up to $30, with a maximum payment of $50 per class member. The settlement also allocates $10 million for attorney fees.

Eligible class members have until March 1, 2024, to file a claim. A final approval hearing is scheduled for April 2, 2024.