Home Technology Apple to face antitrust lawsuit over alleged iOS Apple Pay monopoly.

Apple to face antitrust lawsuit over alleged iOS Apple Pay monopoly.

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Apple to face antitrust lawsuit over alleged iOS Apple Pay monopoly.

California Northern District Judge Jeffrey White has partially denied Apple’s request to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit over Apple Pay. The lawsuit, filed by three credit unions, alleges that Apple violated the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by charging excessive processing fees and restricting access to its NFC-scanning hardware. The judge agreed with the credit unions’ argument that Apple Pay’s convenience and functionality, combined with the high cost of switching to Android, make it a market unto itself. Apple is facing accusations of monopolistic behavior, as it is the only player in this particular market.

The lawyers representing the credit unions also claimed that Apple Pay is unlawfully tied to Apple devices, such as phones, tablets, and watches. While the judge sided with Apple’s argument that the claim fell flat because Apple Pay is free and not mandatory, he acknowledged that the claim of Apple having a monopoly is “plausible.” Judge White agreed with the credit unions’ contention that Apple charges arbitrary and inflated fees for payment processing, and he expressed concern about the lack of competition in the iOS digital payments market, which he believes harms consumers. The judge highlighted the anticompetitive nature of Apple’s refusal to provide NFC access to third-party apps, a stance also criticized by the European Union in a previous ruling.

Apple and the credit unions involved in the lawsuit are scheduled to appear in court again on December 1st. The case raises important questions about Apple’s dominance in the digital payments market and its treatment of competitors, potentially having significant implications for the future of mobile payments.

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