Some Apple users are eligible to receive a small chunk of change as part of a $25 million lawsuit settlement related to the tech company’s Family Sharing feature. Earlier this month, Apple agreed to allocate funds for users enrolled with at least one other person in the popular subscription sharing system between June 21, 2015 and January 30, 2019. Depending on the final number of filed claims through the official website, recipients will likely receive around $30—it may not be much, but that covers at least a couple months of Netflix or Hulu. Those who believe they qualify have until March 1, 2024, to fill out, print, and mail a form currently available through the case’s official website, after which time a final approval hearing is scheduled for the next month to confirm all the fine print.
Originally filed in 2019, the lawsuit alleged Apple misrepresented how many thirty-party apps and services qualified for its Family Sharing option. As its name implies, as many as six enrolled family members can all use the same subscriptions to Apple services such as Apple Card, Apple Music, Apple News Plus, Apple TV Plus, and Apple Arcade.
Although certain third-party apps do opt into the feature, the original complaint claimed 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.” Apple allegedly did this despite knowing the “vast majority of subscription-based Apps” did not support the feature.
Despite agreeing to the settlement terms, Apple denies it ever misrepresented Family Sharing’s scope.
According to the settlement stipulations, Apple will allocate up to $50 for each filed claimant, with a maximum of $10 million also going to pay for legal fees. Affected customers can also expect to receive an email regarding the settlement in the near future, but can fill out the form at any time. Payments, when they finally do begin rolling out, will be deposited either through ACH transfer or check. No word on a timeline for that, however.
All that said, your potential Apple reimbursement comes with a caveat: If you sign up to pocket the cash, you forfeit the right to take part in any future lawsuits pertaining to the alleged Family Sharing false advertising. If you feel like you somehow have the means to pursue your own legal justice, then it’ll have to be financed sans any Apple restitution for now.