Apple is being sued for having a monopoly on the iPhone’s tap-to-pay

A proposed class action lawsuit is targeting Apple Pay, which claims Apple has an illegal monopoly on contactless payments on the iPhone, forcing it to force card issuers to pay fees (via) bloombergThe lawsuit is being launched by Iowa-based Affinity Credit Union, which issues debit and credit cards that are compatible with Apple Pay, but the company’s attorneys hope to make it a class-action case so that other card issuers are in the lawsuit. be able to join

According to the complaint, which you can read below, Apple makes more than $1 billion a year for charging credit card companies up to 0.15 percent per transaction in Apple Pay fees, and still paying those same card issuers nothing. when their customers use a “functionally identical Android wallet”. The lawsuit alleges that Apple violates antitrust law by making it, so Apple Pay is the only service capable of making NFC payments on its iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. It also says that Apple prohibits card issuers from passing those charges on to customers, making it so that iPhone owners have no incentive to find a cheaper payment method.

As we have discussed in detail during epic vs apple The trial, a case like this one, may hinge on what a judge can decide the relevant market – here, plaintiffs say, is Apple’s monopoly on “tap iOS mobile wallets and make payments.” But even if a judge agrees that this is true, they can still decide that there is no real monopoly because customers can always switch to Android, where other mobile wallets exist.

Lawsuits are not automatically granted class-action status—a judge has to decide whether to grant. However, Hagens Berman, the law firm handling Affinity’s case, has a little track record with class-action suits against Apple; It was involved with a $100 million settlement to developers after accusing App Store rules of being unfair, as well as an eBook pricing case that ended with Apple returning nearly $400 million to customers. was.

According to a press release from the law firm, the goal of the lawsuit is to change Apple’s policies that force all contactless payments to go through Apple Pay, and to have the company reimburse card issuers for the fees they charge. Plaintiffs claim illegally. accused.

That’s not the only challenge Apple is facing in how it runs Apple Pay. The European Union recently objected to the fact that third-party developers could not use the iPhone’s NFC system for payments, claiming that the ban “reduces innovation for consumers and less access to mobile wallets on the iPhone”. “Options”. Now, the company may face a legal battle over the issue in the US as well.

Apple did not respond immediately ledgeRequest for comment on the matter.

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