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Apple Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Anti-Competitive Practices in P2P Payment Market 3m ago by

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple by disgruntled consumers who allege that the tech giant conspired to limit peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options on its devices and block cryptocurrency technology from iOS payment apps.

The complaint, filed on November 17th in a California District Court, claims that Apple engaged in anti-competitive agreements with PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App to curtail the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment apps, resulting in users having to pay higher prices.

The lawsuit asserts that these agreements not only restrict feature competition but also hinder price competition, including preventing the incorporation of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in both existing and new iOS Peer-to-Peer Payment apps.

The plaintiffs further argue that Apple employs various technological and contractual constraints, such as enforcing exclusivity through the App Store and imposing limitations on web browser technology.

These constraints allegedly allow Apple to exert complete control over every app installed and run on iPhones and iPads.

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According to the plaintiffs, Apple leverages these restraints to compel new iOS P2P payment apps entering the market to exclude cryptocurrency as a condition for entry.

These customers, who have paid inflated fees due to Apple’s restrictions in the iOS P2P payment market, seek compensation for excessive fees and overcharging resulting from Apple’s alleged anti-competitive behavior.

They also request injunctive relief to prevent Apple from entering into and enforcing anti-competitive agreements that restrict competitors and potential entrants in the iOS P2P payment market.

In a detailed 58-page filing, the lawsuit chronicles the history and ascent of peer-to-peer payment apps, decentralized cryptocurrencies, and Apple’s foray into the market.

It’s worth noting that in April, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Apple had violated California’s competition laws by preventing apps from directing users to non-Apple-linked payment solutions.

This class-action lawsuit underscores the ongoing legal battles and scrutiny that major tech companies like Apple face regarding their market practices and their impact on competition in the industry.

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