Apple has paid $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its Family Sharing feature, and you might be eligible for a payout, as reported by MacRumors. The settlement, which you can read about on a dedicated website, stems from a 2019 lawsuit accusing Apple of misleading users about the apps you can use Family Sharing with.
Family Sharing is a perk that lets you and up to five other family members share subscriptions to Apple services, including Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple News Plus, Apple Card, and Apple Arcade. It also lets you share subscriptions to third-party apps if the developer allows it. That part is what the lawsuit takes issue with, arguing that Apple misrepresented the ability to share subscriptions to non-Apple apps.
As alleged in the complaint, Apple “places and/or demands that its software developers place a small advertisement on the landing pages for its Apps which states that the App supports Family Sharing.” However, the lawsuit claims that even though Apple “was aware that the vast majority of subscription-based Apps did not support family sharing” it advertised Family Sharing anyway. This, according to the complaint, led users to purchase subscriptions they thought they could share with family members only to realize later it wasn’t available.
Although it agreed to settle, Apple “maintains that it did nothing wrong and denies that it made any misleading misrepresentations,” according to an FAQ page about the settlement.
If you were enrolled in a Family Sharing group from June 21st, 2015, to January 30th, 2019, with at least one other person and purchased a subscription to a third-party app through the App Store, you may be eligible for a payout. The class action’s FAQ page says users could receive up to $30, depending on how many people choose to receive a payment.
Eligible customers will get an emailed notice containing more information about the settlement. If you don’t receive a notice and think you’re eligible, you can register on the class action lawsuit’s website by printing out and mailing in a form. You have until March 1st, 2024, to file a claim, and a hearing is scheduled for April 2nd, 2024, to finalize the settlement.