Disgruntled consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the tech giant conspired to limit peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options on its devices and block crypto technology from iOS payment apps.
The complaint filed in a California court on November 17 alleges that Apple entered into anti-competitive agreements with PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App to restrict the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment apps, forcing users to pay “rapidly rising prices” .
“These agreements limit feature competition – and the price competition that would result – across the market, including by prohibiting the integration of decentralized cryptocurrency technology into existing or new iOS Peer-to-Peer Payment apps ,” the filing said.
The plaintiffs also alleged that Apple uses “technological and contractual restrictions,” including hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and “contractual restrictions on web browser technology” to “exercise unfettered control over every app installed and running on iPhones and iPads ‘.
With these restrictions, Apple can (and does) force new iOS P2P payment apps to market to block crypto “as a condition of access,” according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs describe themselves as customers who have paid high fees due to Apple’s trading restrictions in the iOS P2P payments market.
They seek to recover damages for excessive fees and charges resulting from Apple’s alleged anticompetitive conduct and injunctive relief that prohibit the company from continuing to enter into and enforce anticompetitive agreements that restrict competitors and potential entrants to the iOS P2P payments market lay.
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The 58-page dossier details the history and rise of peer-to-peer payment apps, decentralized cryptocurrencies and Apple’s entry into the market.
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Apple violated California competition laws by not allowing apps to direct users to non-Apple-linked payment solutions.
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