Apple Sued for Restricting Crypto And Other Peer-to-Peer Payments
The class action complaint alleges that Apple’s policy of limiting cryptocurrency payments may be in violation of anti-trust regulations.
There have been several accusations that Apple engages in anti-competitive actions related to the payment methods that are compatible with their products.
The most high-profile instance of this kind of action against the Cupertino electronics maker can be seen in the seminal case vs. Epic Games. In this case, Epic Games was able to win the right to notify app users of other payment methods that could avoid Apple Pay’s 30% cut of the revenue.
The giant had to cope with a private antitrust case in September, when they were said to have harmed rival wallets by exploiting their monopoly on Apple products. European Union authorities have also launched a similar probe. Their results have remained undisclosed at this time.
But now Apple is the target of a new class-action lawsuit in California, which accuses the tech giant of severely limiting the use of cryptocurrency as a payment option. The plaintiffs claim that Apple consumers are unjustly charged exorbitant fees for using their payment systems, and that there are no other options available to them.
When it comes to mobile P2P payments, the iPhone is king. With decentralized payments, iPhone users may send money to one other directly, without any middlemen, and at far cheaper transaction rates compared to what services like Venmo, Cash App, and Apple charge to transfer funds between bank accounts and credit cards. Despite its clear practicality, the iPhone still lacks support for decentralized payment processing.
This latest complaint claims that Apple has conspired with PayPal and Block’s peer-to-peer payment network CashApp to engage in anti-competitive practices.
The plaintiffs did not sue Block or PayPal, which is rather interesting. The plaintiffs may be implying that they feel PayPal and Block were coerced into these anti-competitive arrangements.
It is up to the court to determine whether the two businesses were coerced into the agreement or if the conditions were mutually advantageous.
Among the crypto-related applications that the complaint claims Apple has banned from the App Store are the Zeus Bitcoin wallets. The decentralized social networking software Damus, which Dorsey supported, faced similar threats of removal from the software Store for its tipping function. However, it was ultimately granted permission to remain on the marketplace.