Apple has agreed to a $25 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit concerning its Family Sharing feature. This feature allows users and up to five family members to share purchased apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books. The lawsuit, initiated in 2019, claimed that Apple falsely represented the capability of using Family Sharing for app subscriptions.
The settlement comes with Apple denying any misleading representations or allegations of wrongdoing. The company emphasized that settling was a practical decision to avoid continuing the legal action’s burdensome and expensive nature.
According to court documents, the lawsuit alleges that Apple promoted Family Sharing on apps that did not support the feature for subscription-based apps. These apps were typically restricted to individual users who downloaded and set up a subscription. Despite this, the apps misleadingly claimed Family Sharing support on their landing pages until January 30, 2019.
The lawsuit contends that Apple was aware of the lack of Family Sharing support for subscription-based apps but still advertised the feature. Consequently, millions of consumers downloaded such apps under the false impression that they could be shared through Family Sharing, only to discover after payment that this was different.
U.S. residents who were part of a Family Sharing group with at least one other person between June 21, 2015, and January 30, 2019, and purchased a subscription from the App Store during that period may qualify for compensation. Eligible class members will receive an email this week.
Individuals filing a claim may receive up to $30, with the actual amount dependent on the total number of claims. However, at most, individual payment will be $50, and $10 million from the settlement will cover attorney fees. The deadline for eligible class members to file a claim is March 1, 2024, with a final approval hearing scheduled for April 2, 2024.