Apple is currently facing legal action in the form of a class-action lawsuit over allegations of engaging in anti-competitive behavior within the iOS P2P payments sector.
Dissatisfied consumers, acting as complainants, have initiated legal proceedings. They assert that Apple has colluded to restrict (peer-to-peer) P2P payment choices on its devices. Additionally, Apple is accused of preventing the integration of cryptocurrency technology into iOS payment applications.
The legal complaint was filed on November 17 in a California District Court. It contends that Apple entered into agreements with PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App.
These agreements allegedly led to limitations on the utilization of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment apps. Moreover, they purported collusion is said to have resulted in users facing escalated payment amounts.
Moreover, the filing contends that these agreements have broader market implications by constraining both feature competition and subsequent price competition. This is achieved by prohibiting the incorporation of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in both existing and new iOS Peer-to-Peer Payment apps.
Allegations of Control and Constraints in the iOS P2P Payments Market
Subsequently, the plaintiffs argue that Apple employs technological and contractual constraints. These include hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and contractual limitations on web browser technology.
These measures are asserted to exert complete control over all apps installed and run on iPhones and iPads.
Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, Apple leverages these restraints to compel new iOS P2P payment apps entering the market to exclude cryptocurrency as a prerequisite for participation.
The complainants, self-identified as customers, claim to have incurred inflated fees due to Apple’s alleged constraints in the iOS P2P payment market. They are seeking compensation for excessive fees and overcharging.
Alleged Anti-Competitive Practices in the iOS P2P Payments Market
Additionally, the complainants are pursuing injunctive relief. This relief is intended to prevent Apple from continuing to engage in and enforce anti-competitive agreements. These agreements are alleged to limit competitors and potential entrants in the iOS P2P payment market.
Notably, the comprehensive 58-page filing offers a detailed account of the evolution of peer-to-peer payment apps, decentralized cryptocurrencies, and Apple’s entry into this market.
Notably, in April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found Apple in violation of California’s competition laws. This violation was due to Apple prohibiting apps from directing users to payment solutions not linked to Apple.