In another legal showdown for Apple, the company is under fire as a number of consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit in a California District Court. They have accused the iPhone-maker of colluding with payment giants PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App to limit peer-to-peer payment options and block crypto technology from iOS payments apps.
What did the lawsuit say?
Their complaint alleges that these anti-competitive agreements have led to inflated prices for users who use crypto P2P payments.
These agreements limit feature competition—and the price competition that would flow from it—marketwide, including by barring the incorporation of decentralized cryptocurrency technology within existing or new iOS Peer-to-Peer Payment appsAn excerpt from the lawsuit.
It also asserted that Apple expands its control through “technological and contractual restraints.” It accused the tech-giant of using App Store exclusivity and contractual limitations on its browser, Safari.
The plaintiffs claimed to be users who have suffered inflated fees. They are seeking compensation for excessive charges that resulted from Apple’s ‘anticompetitive behavior.’
Complainants are also seeking “injunctive relief” to prevent Apple from continuing to enter into and enforce anticompetitive agreements. They want to ensure that Apple does not stifle competition in the iOS P2P payment market.
Apple’s other legal troubles
This legal battle comes on the heels of a significant ruling in April. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found Apple in violation of California’s competition laws. It accused Apple of restricting apps from directing users to non-Apple linked payment solutions.
On November 17, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed regulations to regulate payments and smartphone wallets. They were specifically aimed at tech giants like Apple and Google, seeking.
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, known for his focus on privacy and competition issues, stressed the need for strict supervision of many tech giants. Around 17 companies, including Paypal, Apple, and Google, are expected to be affected by these regulations. They will have to comply with CFPB rules on privacy, executive conduct, and the prevention of unfair and deceptive practices.