Apple sued over cryptocurrency payments policy

Apple sued over cryptocurrency payments policy

Apple’s history of suppressing competition continues to cause it financial problems

Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit from dissatisfied consumers claiming the tech giant exhibited anti-competitive conduct by conspiring to limit peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options on iOS devices while blocking cryptocurrency technology from its payment apps.

The complaint was filed on November 17 in a California District Court and alleges that Apple joined anti-competitive deals with Block’s Cash App and PayPal’s Venmo to prohibit the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment apps, forcing users to pay “rapidly inflating prices.”

“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 apps,” reads the filing.

The complainants also contended Apple employs “technological and contractual restraints,” including hardware-enforced access exclusively to its App Store and “contractual limitations on web browser technology” to “exercise unfettered control over every app installed and run on iPhones and iPads.”

These limitations enable Apple to push customers to its new iOS P2P payment apps to block crypto “as a condition for entry,” according to the suit.

The plaintiffs in the case are self-described as consumers who were forced to pay boosted fees because of Apple’s constraints on trade throughout the iOS P2P payment market.

The accusers aim to recover the inflated fees and overcharges paid due to Apple’s alleged anti-competitive behavior and are seeking an injunction to ban the company from resuming future anti-competitive agreements, which denies iOS P2P payment market competitors and prospective entrants.

The 58-page document describes the history and advancement of decentralized cryptocurrencies, peer-to-peer payment platforms and Apple’s entrance into the payments market.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in April that Apple disregarded California competition laws by not providing apps for non-Apple linked payment solutions to direct users.

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