Coinfeeds Daily → Apple Faces Class-Action Lawsuit For P2P Payments Restrictions

Apple Faces Class-Action Lawsuit For P2P Payments Restrictions

Published: Nov 21, 2023 | Last Updated: Mar 17, 2024
Howard Kane
A major computer company, symbolized by a bitten generic fruit logo, being sued in a modern courtroom.
Image: A major computer company, symbolized by a bitten generic fruit logo, being sued in a modern courtroom.

Consumers allege anti-competitive behavior and inflated prices, demanding fair competition and access to decentralized crypto technology on iOS devices.

In a significant legal challenge to one of the world's largest tech companies, Apple Inc. is facing a class-action lawsuit over its policies that allegedly restrict the integration of cryptocurrency technology into peer-to-peer (P2P) payment applications on iOS devices. The lawsuit, which represents a group of consumers, claims that Apple's actions have stifled competition and led to inflated prices for users.

Allegations of Anti-Competitive Behavior

The lawsuit accuses Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior by using both technological and contractual means to maintain control over which apps can be installed and run on iPhones and iPads. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that Apple has prevented the integration of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in iOS payment applications. This limitation is said to have hindered feature and price competition in the market, potentially harming consumers who may have paid higher fees as a result.

Impact on Cryptocurrency Companies

Apple's policies have posed significant challenges for cryptocurrency companies wishing to operate on the iOS platform. The tech giant requires a 30% share of transaction earnings from apps on its App Store, a policy that has been criticized by many developers. Additionally, Apple has previously removed apps from the App Store that supported Bitcoin, further indicating a restrictive stance towards cryptocurrency-related services.

Lawsuit Claims and Demands

The class-action lawsuit seeks compensation for consumers who may have been overcharged due to the alleged lack of competition. Furthermore, the plaintiffs are asking for a court order to prevent Apple from continuing its purported anti-competitive practices. They also demand that Apple segregate or divest its Apple Cash operations to ensure fair competition in the P2P payments market.

Broader Implications for the P2P Market

The lawsuit also highlights agreements that Apple allegedly entered into with major players in the P2P payments market, such as PayPal's Venmo, Block's Cash App, and Google's Google Pay. These agreements are claimed to restrict the use of decentralized crypto technology in their payment apps, potentially contributing to rapidly inflating prices for consumers. If proven, such agreements could have significant implications for the P2P payment industry and the use of cryptocurrencies in mainstream financial applications.

Takeaways for Consumers and Developers

This legal action against Apple underscores the growing tension between traditional tech companies and the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. For consumers, the outcome of this lawsuit could affect the fees they pay for P2P transactions and the availability of innovative payment features. For developers, particularly those in the crypto space, the case highlights the challenges of operating within the ecosystems controlled by major tech companies and the importance of advocating for fair competition and access to markets.

The case is ongoing, and the tech community, as well as consumers, will be watching closely to see how it unfolds and what it means for the future of digital payments and cryptocurrency integration in mainstream platforms.

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