May 18, 2024

Apple faces legal action as discontented consumers filed a class-action lawsuit accusing it of deliberately obstructing virtual currency technology in peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps. 

The complaint, lodged in a California District Court on November 17, alleges that Apple conspired with payment platforms Venmo and Cash App to limit the use of decentralized digital currency technology, resulting in users having to bear rapidly inflating prices.

Apple Deal with Class-Action Lawsuit

The lawsuit contends that Apple’s supposed anti-competitive agreements restrict feature and price competition in the market. This comes after the company prohibited the integration of decentralized cryptocurrency technology in both existing and new iOS P2P payment apps.

The plaintiffs argue that Apple employs a range of measures, including hardware-enforced App Store exclusivity and pledged restrictions on web browser technology. The idea is to exert complete control over apps on iPhones and iPads.

The suit further claims that Apple compels new iOS P2P payment apps to exclude cryptocurrency as a requirement for entry.

The individuals behind the legal action assert themselves as customers who have suffered from inflated fees due to Apple’s constraints on trade within the iOS P2P payment market.

Their legal recourse seeks compensation for excessive fees and overcharging, citing Apple’s alleged anti-competitive practices.

Additionally, they are seeking injunctive relief to prevent Apple from entering into and enforcing anti-competitive agreements that hinder competitors and potential entrants in the iOS P2P payment sector.

The 58-page filing provides a comprehensive account of the history and evolution of peer-to-peer payment apps, decentralized cryptocurrencies, and Apple’s role in the market.

Other Apple Lawsuit Dealings

Notably, Apple has faced several lawsuits over the past months. In a June ruling, a federal judge in California determined that Apple cannot evade a class action lawsuit that accuses CEO Tim Cook of providing misleading information to investors.

The allegation is centered around Cook’s statements during a November 2018 analyst call, where he reportedly omitted information about sales pressure in China while listing challenges in other countries.

The class action revealed that after the November 2018 call, in January 2019, Apple supposedly instructed its suppliers to reduce production. 

This occurred shortly before the company unexpectedly slashed its quarterly revenue forecast by up to $9 billion due to trade tensions with China.

Consequently, Apple’s market shares reportedly suffered a $74 billion decline, leading to a 10% drop in the company’s shares the following day. 

Additionally, in June 2023, a consumer-initiated another class action lawsuit against Apple. This lawsuit alleged that the tech giant failed to adequately disclose that the purchase of its iPhone 14 Pro smartphone does not include a charging block.

The consumer argued that without the essential charging block, the iPhone 14 Pro becomes unusable unless a separate charging device is purchased. 

In essence, Apple was accused of disclosing this information in small print on the back of the boxes, stating that the power adapter and headphones are sold separately. 

The class action asserted that purchasers were taken by surprise upon realizing that their expensive smartphones couldn’t be powered without the essential wall plug.

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