In the ever-evolving landscape of tech and finance, Apple is once again under the legal spotlight. A new class-action lawsuit filed in California alleges that the tech giant is significantly limiting the use of cryptocurrencies as an alternative payment method on its devices.
The company has faced accusations of non-competitive practices in the past, with the most notable being the legal battle against Epic Games. In that landmark case, Epic Games secured the right to inform users about alternative payment methods, circumventing Apple’s 30% cut through Apple Pay.
The Latest Lawsuit: Cryptocurrency Restrictions
The recent lawsuit accuses Apple of heavily restricting cryptocurrencies as a viable payment option. According to the plaintiffs, Apple users face inflationary price hikes on payment services without any feasible alternatives, pointing out that decentralized payments on the iPhone could significantly reduce transaction costs.
The lawsuit claims that the firm has entered into anti-competitive agreements with CashApp and Venmo, both peer-to-peer payment platforms operated by Block and PayPal, respectively. These agreements are said to limit feature and price competition, preventing the incorporation of decentralized cryptocurrency technology within iOS Peer-to-Peer Payment apps.
Interestingly, the lawsuit excludes PayPal and Block from legal action, suggesting that the plaintiffs might believe these companies were pressured into the alleged anti-competitive agreements. Whether the terms were coerced or mutually beneficial remains a question for the legal proceedings.
Apple Store Bans: Zeus Bitcoin Wallets and Damus
The lawsuit also accuses the firm of banning crypto-related apps from its App Store. Examples include the Zeus Bitcoin wallets and the Dorsey-backed decentralized social networking app Damus, which faced potential removal due to its tipping feature but was eventually allowed to stay on the platform.