Apple sued for restricting P2P crypto payments

By: Dickson Arinze

Apple sued for restricting P2P crypto payments

November 21, 2023 6:54 AM

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit for alleged anti-competitive behavior in the iOS peer-to-peer payments sector.

Dissatisfied customers have launched a class-action complaint against Apple, alleging that the company conspired to limit peer-to-peer payment alternatives on its devices and to prohibit crypto technology from iOS payments apps.

According to the complaint, which was filed in a California District Court on November 17, Apple entered into anti-competitive agreements with PayPal's Venmo and Block's Cash App to prohibit the use of decentralized bitcoin technology in payment apps, causing customers to pay "rapidly inflating prices."

As to the filing, these agreements restrict the market's ability to compete on features and prices, among other things, by preventing the integration of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in new or existing iOS peer-to-peer payment apps.

It is also said that Apple "exercises unfettered control over every app installed and run on iPhones and iPads" by using "technological and contractual restraints," such as hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and "contractual limitations on web browser technology."

With these constraints, Apple may—and does—force new iOS P2P payment apps to exclude bitcoin "as a condition for entry," according to the lawsuit.


An excerpt from the lawsuit argues that Apple limits decentralized

payment technology. Source: PACER.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs are consumers who have paid more fees than necessary because of Apple's anticompetitive practices in the iOS P2P payment industry.

In addition to demanding compensation for Apple's allegedly high fees and overcharging, the plaintiffs are also asking for an injunction preventing Apple from entering into and enforcing anticompetitive agreements that restrict competitors and would-be participants in the iOS P2P Payment Market.

The 58-page class action lawsuit discusses Apple's foray into the market for decentralized cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer payment systems.

In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Apple violated California's competition statutes by not allowing apps to refer users to non-Apple-related payment alternatives.