Apple Settles Lawsuit Over Family Sharing Subscriptions

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Apple Family Sharing Subscriptions

In 2019, Apple was accused of misleading its users regarding the use of the apps you can use with Family Sharing. Now, it agreed to pay out $25 million just to end the case. 

Family Sharing is a feature provided by Apple. It enables members of a family to share access to certain Apple services and purchases. The purpose of this feature is to create a shared digital ecosystem within a family. In that way, family members can easily share content and provide parental controls. 

You can also share subscriptions to third-party apps. But the developer must allow it. This is the part where the lawsuit takes issue with. Users assumed that they could share their subscriptions to non-Apple apps.

The lawsuit accused the company of not being transparent about what app users could share a subscription with. 

Apple denied that it has made any misleading statements regarding some of the Family Sharing features. 

“A settlement has been reached with Apple Inc. (“Apple” or “Defendant”) in a class action lawsuit (the “Lawsuit”) alleging that Apple misrepresented the ability to use its Family Sharing feature to share subscriptions to apps. Apple denies that it made any misleading misrepresentations and denies all allegations of wrongdoing.” Walter Peters v. Apple Inc.

You are eligible for a payout if you were enrolled in a Family Sharing group from 2015 to 2019. Then, at least one person bought a subscription to a third-party app via the App Store.  

If you are eligible, you will get a notification through email to know more details about the settlement. On the other hand, if you did not receive a notice but you think that you are eligible for a payout, then you can still register through the class action lawsuit site. Print out the form and mail it. 

You can still file a claim up to March 1, 2024. To finalize the settlement, a hearing is set for April 2, 2024. 

How Much Will You Get? 

After filing a claim, you may be eligible for a payout and you get $30. However, this can go up or down, depending on the number of people who will file claims. The payment, however, will not exceed $50 for every class member. The remaining amount, which is $10 million, will go to attorney fees.  

Apple Family Sharing is still available. As a subscriber, you can share App Store and iTunes purchases. These would include apps, music, movies, TV shows and books. It means that if one family member purchases an app or song, other family members can download and use it without having to buy it again. 

This feature also allows multiple family members to have individual Apple Music accounts while paying for one subscription. 

Family members can also share access to Apple Arcade. It is a subscription service for games and Apple TV+. Parents can also use Screen Time settings to set limits on the amount of time children can spend on their devices, as well as to monitor and manage the content they access. 

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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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