Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Abuse of Market Power in Peer-to-Peer Payment Services
In a proposed class action filed on Friday, Apple finds itself in legal hot water as Venmo and Cash App customers allege that the tech giant has wielded its market influence to stifle competition in the mobile peer-to-peer payments sector.
According to Reuters, the lawsuit, filed by four consumers from different states, claims that Apple’s actions have led to consumers paying “rapidly inflating prices.”
The legal action, brought forth in the federal court in San Jose, California, accuses Apple of violating U.S. antitrust laws through its agreements with popular payment platforms Venmo, owned by PayPal, and Cash App, owned by Block.
The plaintiffs argue that Apple’s agreements impose restrictions that hinder “feature competition” among peer-to-peer payment apps. Notably, the complaint points to clauses preventing platforms, both existing and new, from utilizing “decentralized cryptocurrency technology.”
According to the lawsuit, these restrictions limit innovation and hinder healthy competition within the mobile payment landscape. The plaintiffs seek an injunction that could potentially compel Apple to divest or segregate its Apple Cash business, a move aimed at restoring competition within the industry.
Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, California, has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.
This legal challenge adds to Apple’s growing list of antitrust concerns. In September, a U.S. judge in California ruled that payment card issuers could proceed with a lawsuit against Apple, alleging anticompetitive practices related to its Apple Pay mobile wallet. As regulatory scrutiny continues to intensify, Apple faces increasing pressure to address concerns related to its market dominance and alleged anti-competitive behavior in various sectors.