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Apple's Getting Sued for Having a Monopoly on the iPhone's Tap-to-Pay

The Verge

A proposed class-action suit accuses the company of antitrust violations.

A proposed class action lawsuit is taking aim at Apple Pay, claiming that Apple has an illegal monopoly over contactless payments on the iPhone, letting it force card issuers into paying fees (via Bloomberg). The suit is being kicked off by Iowa-based Affinity Credit Union, which issues debit and credit cards that are compatible with Apple Pay, but the company’s lawyers hope to make it a class-action case so other card issuers can join the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, which you can read in full below, Apple makes over $1 billion a year charging credit card companies up to 0.15 percent per transaction in Apple Pay fees, and yet those same card issuers don’t have to pay anything when their customers use “functionally identical Android wallets.” The suit alleges that Apple violates antitrust law by making it so Apple Pay is the only service able to carry out NFC payments on its iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. It also says that Apple prevents card issuers from passing on those fees to customers, which makes it so iPhone owners don’t have any incentive to go find a cheaper payment method.