Image Source: Apple
Apple has become the target of a lawsuit in the US due to its Apple Pay payment gateway and apparent monopoly over the market.
The technology giant is accused of stifling competition from rival payment card issuers by utilizing its dominant position in the mobile phone market.
An Iowa-based chartered credit union, Affinity Credit Union, filed the class-action lawsuit in a federal court in California.
In contrast to manufacturers of Android-based devices, which provide customers a choice of wallets, including Google Pay and Samsung Pay, Apple “coerces” users of its smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets to use its own wallet for contactless payments.
According to the complaint, Apple forbids users from utilizing competing mobile wallets that can provide competing tap and pay options.
According to Iowa’s Affinity Credit Union, the almost 4,000 banks and credit unions that utilize Apple Spend are compelled to pay at least $1 billion in extra fees each year due to Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.
Additionally, it said that Apple’s actions reduced the company’s incentive to improve Apple Pay’s functionality and make it more secure.
Unknown financial compensation is demanded in addition to an end to Apple’s claimed anti-competitive behavior.
Read Also: Apple Launches Buy Now Pay Later Services
Other court cases for Apple
On Monday, Apple agreed to pay a $50 million settlement to resolve a class-action lawsuit involving so-called butterfly keyboards, a feature of some MacBook notebooks that drove many users insane with key-slamming displeasure.
It turned out that the narrow, more precise butterfly keyboard was not as graceful as the nectar-seeking creature’s flapping wings. Many consumers claimed that when they pressed a character, it would repeat itself or not appear at all. In addition, some users claimed the devices’ keys felt sticky and exhibited inconsistent responses.
After four years of litigation in the San Jose Division of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, the settlement was finally filed on Monday night due to the class-action lawsuit brought about by the typing meltdowns in 2018. According to Apple, the agreement was not an admission of guilt.
Apple already faces the prospect of a large fine after European Union regulators said on May 2 that the company had exploited its position of dominance in mobile wallets and iOS devices by denying competitors in the payment industry access to its technology.
In contrast to competitors using Android, Apple charges issuers a 0.15 percent fee on credit transactions and a flat price of 0.5 cents on debit purchases when using Apple Pay, the complaint claims.
The plaintiff is represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, Sperling and Slater’s law offices.
They were instrumental in securing a $100 million settlement for smaller iOS developers who alleged Apple overcharged them for commissions in August.
Margrethe Vestager, the head of the European Union’s digital policy, stated in May that Apple had claimed that it couldn’t grant access to NFC for security reasons in response to the EU’s investigation into its mobile payment practices.
Most mobile phone payments in European stores use a wireless technology called “Near Field Communication,” or NFC.
With the use of this functionality, a customer’s mobile device and the store’s payment terminal can communicate, enabling “tap and go.”
Like Apple, Google is facing lawsuits too
A trial is also scheduled for claims that Google overcharged millions of UK app users.
Liz Coll, a consumer advocate, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the nearly 20 million British Play Store customers.
Her goal is to make up for years of alleged overcharging by Google and competition law violations by UK Android smartphone and tablet customers.
Google declared it would contest the assertion.