Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers alleging anti-competitive behavior in relation to peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options and cryptocurrency technology on iOS devices. Here are the key details from multiple sources:
Nature of the Complaint
Filed on November 17 in a California District Court, the lawsuit accuses Apple of entering into anti-competitive agreements with PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App. These agreements allegedly restrict the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment apps on iOS devices, leading to consumers paying inflated prices.
Restrictions Imposed by Apple
The plaintiffs claim that Apple imposes technological and contractual restraints to maintain control over apps on iPhones and iPads. These include hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and limitations on web browser technology. Consequently, new iOS P2P payment apps are reportedly forced to exclude cryptocurrency technology as a condition for their market entry.
Alleged Antitrust Law Violation
The lawsuit filed by consumers from New York, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Georgia alleges that Apple’s actions violate U.S. antitrust law. The plaintiffs describe themselves as customers who have had to pay inflated fees due to Apple’s trade restraints across the iOS P2P payment market.
The plaintiffs are seeking to recover for excessive fees and overcharging attributed to Apple’s alleged anticompetitive conduct. They are also seeking injunctive relief to bar Apple from continuing these practices, which they argue are restraining competitors and potential entrants in the iOS P2P Payment Market.
This lawsuit reflects broader concerns in the tech industry about the balance between innovation, market competition, and consumer rights, especially in the rapidly evolving fields of cryptocurrency and mobile payment technologies. The outcome of this legal battle could have significant implications for how tech giants like Apple engage with emerging financial technologies and their regulation.
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