A company in Iowa has accused Apple of violating US antitrust laws in its Apple Pay service
A group complaint is trying to service Target Apple Pay. The plaintiffs allege that Apple is illegally monopolizing contactless payments on the iPhone, forcing credit card issuers to pay Apple Pay fees.
As The Verge writes, the new complaint was filed by Affinity Credit Union in Iowa. Affinity Credit Union has been issuing Apple Pay compatible credit and debit cards for years. Affinity Credit Union’s attorneys hope to turn the new case into a class-action lawsuit so that other bank card issuers can get involved.
According to court documents, Apple takes a maximum of 0.15% of each transaction as a fee for each transaction on the Apple Pay service, and in this way earns more than a billion dollars annually. Meanwhile, if customers use “virtually identical Android wallets”, the bank card issuing company does not have to pay any fees. Affinity Credit Union’s lawyers say that Apple has actually violated US antitrust laws by limiting the NFC-based services of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to the Apple Pay service.
In part of the file, we read that Apple does not allow credit card issuing companies to impose fees on customers. The same issue makes iPhone owners have no desire to find cheaper payment methods and continue to use Apple Pay.
In such cases, the final result usually does not include all markets, and the judge may issue a ruling for some limited areas. The plaintiffs in the case say that Apple is exhibiting monopolistic behavior towards “Tap and Pay mobile wallets on iOS”. Even if the judge agrees with this claim, it may reject Apple’s monopoly because customers can switch to Android and use other mobile wallets at any time.
Complaints do not automatically enter into a group complaint mode, and for this to happen, a judge must issue the relevant ruling.
Law Firm Hagens Berman, who is representing Affinity Credit Union, has a history of filing class action lawsuits against Apple. This law firm was involved in a case related to the unfairness of the App Store rules, which resulted in a compensation of 100 million dollars. Hagens Berman also represented the plaintiffs in the e-book pricing case that resulted in Apple returning approximately $400 million to customers.
Hagens Berman said in a press release that the main purpose of the lawsuit against Apple is to change the company’s policies regarding the contactless payment service on the iPhone. Also, the lawyers of this law firm are trying to accuse Apple of receiving illegal fees from bank card issuing companies so that Apple is forced to reimburse the costs.
This is not the only example of a case against the Apple Pay service. The European Union has recently objected to Apple’s policies regarding the iPhone’s NFC chip. The European Union says restrictions on the NFC chip will stifle innovation, and iPhone customers will have more limited options for mobile wallets.
Apple did not respond to The Verge’s request for clarification on the new filing.