Apple Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Conspiracy to Restrain Cryptocurrency in iOS Payment Apps
Disgruntled consumers have initiated a class-action lawsuit against Apple, accusing the tech giant of conspiring to limit peer-to-peer payment options and blocking crypto technology in iOS payments apps.
Anti-Competitive Agreements and Inflated Prices
Filed in a California District Court on Nov. 17, the complaint alleges that Apple engaged in anti-competitive agreements with PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App to restrict the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology. This, the plaintiffs claim, led to users paying rapidly inflating prices.
Restrictions on Cryptocurrency Technology
The lawsuit contends that Apple employs technological and contractual restraints, such as hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and limitations on web browser technology, to exert control over iOS apps. According to the plaintiffs, these restraints force new iOS peer-to-peer payment apps to exclude crypto as a condition for entry.
Seeking Compensation and Injunctive Relief
The consumers, identifying themselves as those who paid inflated fees due to Apple’s practices, seek to recover excessive fees and overcharging. They also seek injunctive relief to prevent Apple from entering into and enforcing anti-competitive agreements that restrict competitors and potential entrants in the iOS peer-to-peer payment market.
Apple's Previous Legal Challenges
This class-action lawsuit comes after the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in April that Apple violated California’s competition laws by prohibiting apps from directing users to non-Apple linked payment solutions.
As the legal battle unfolds, Apple faces scrutiny over its alleged attempts to limit competition and stifle the integration of cryptocurrency technology in the iOS peer-to-peer payment market.