Apple Faces Lawsuit Over Restricting Cryptocurrency P2P Payments
Discover how Apple's alleged anti-competitive practices are limiting P2P payment options and obstructing cryptocurrency integration in iOS payment apps
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple by a group of dissatisfied customers, accusing the tech giant of engaging in anti-competitive practices to limit peer-to-peer (P2P) payment options on its devices and obstruct the integration of cryptocurrency technology in iOS payment applications.
The lawsuit, lodged on November 17 in a District Court in California, contends that Apple has formed restrictive agreements with major payment apps like PayPal’s Venmo and Block’s Cash App. These agreements allegedly prevent the use of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in payment applications, leading to increased prices for users.
According to the complaint, Apple's strategy includes both technological and contractual barriers. These include mandatory App Store exclusivity enforced through hardware and restrictions on web browser technologies, allowing Apple to maintain absolute control over all applications on iPhones and iPads. The lawsuit claims that Apple imposes these restrictions on emerging iOS P2P payment apps, demanding the exclusion of cryptocurrency as a prerequisite for their market entry.
Lawsuit alleging Apple restricts decentralized payment technology.
The plaintiffs, identifying themselves as customers who have faced higher fees due to Apple's market restrictions, are seeking compensation for the excessive charges they've incurred as a result of Apple's alleged anti-competitive behavior. They are also pursuing injunctive relief to prevent Apple from continuing these practices, which they argue unfairly restrain competition in the iOS P2P payment market.
The 58-page legal document not only outlines the allegations against Apple but also provides a comprehensive background on the evolution of peer-to-peer payment apps, decentralized cryptocurrencies, and Apple’s role in this market.
This lawsuit follows a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in April, which found that Apple had breached California’s competition laws by prohibiting apps from directing users to payment solutions outside of Apple’s ecosystem.