Class action lawsuit brewing against retailers who block Apple Pay

“Rite Aid and CVS may face a class action for boycotting Apple Pay and other mobile payments systems,” Julia Love reports for The Mercury News. “”

“San Francisco plaintiffs firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe announced this week that it is considering suing the retail giants to force them to reinstate Apple Pay, which they blocked,” Love reports. “The law firm is investigating whether the companies violated antitrust laws aimed at promoting competition by joining forces with other retailers to thwart Apple Pay.”

“An antitrust lawyer based in San Francisco said he struggled to see how consumers who can’t use Apple Pay have been harmed. But Apple might be able to make a case that it has been illegally shut out of a key segment of the market, said the lawyer, who declined to be named because he is involved in pending litigation against the Cupertino-based company,” Love reports. “Up and running in stores ranging from Macy’s to McDonalds, Apple Pay is already the most [used] mobile payment system, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at a technology conference last week. He added that Apple Pay saw more than 1 million activations in its first three days.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
What Apple Pay means to Bank of America: Security – November 6, 2014
Apple Pay is nirvana for (smart) retailers – November 6, 2014
Entrepreneur warns retailers, restaurants, bars: Do not wait, jump on the Apple Pay bandwagon ASAP – November 5, 2014
Apple Pay fuels usage of long-moribund Google Wallet – November 5, 2014
After CVS and Rite Aid blocked Apple Pay, Schubert law firm launches antitrust investigation – November 4, 2014
Sorry, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid et al. — Apple Pay and NFC have already won – November 4, 2014


  1. And so it begins. Pay puts control back in the hands of the consumer where it, arguably, it should always have belonged.

    At the risk of using the dreaded “popcorn” meme, this is going to get very interesting.


      1. You may be technically correct, but you’re still being unnecessarily pedantic. I think  Pay, which is the official header is cool. I suspect the only reason Apple spells it out in text is so that Windows users don’t have to guess what the blank box placeholder is for the  character, since their font set doesn’t include the character.

        However, this is an Apple centric site, and I dare say every viewer’s device here can display the  character just fine. So, let us enjoy ourselves. We don’t need to cater to the lowest common denominator computing device, as Apple PR needs to, to get coverage for its new service.

        1. Apple’s style guidelines say the only place where it’s supposed to be shown with the Apple logo is on actual payment buttons, and in all written text and websites etc. you’re supposed to say Apple Pay.

  2. It can be argued that harm is demonstrated by the removal of two payment methods (Apple Pay, Google Wallet) in favour of a third which, however, has not yet been deployed, depriving consumers of all three during holiday shopping season. Access to payment methods other than these does not mitigate the stipulated harm for a significant portion of the buying public.

    1. I was thinking that by blocking Apple Pay, CVS & Rite Aid are actually doing more harm to themselves. There are a lot of consumers (myself included) who will not shop there now because they have blocked it. Anything I would have bought from them, is being purchased at Walgreens instead.

      I travel a lot for my job, I can’t ever remember being someplace in the USA where if there was a CVS or Rite Aid, there wasn’t also a Walgreens someplace nearby.

  3. It could be argued that costumers are harmed in several ways. First, the decision to block Apple Pay removed choice from customers. Second, it drives customers to less secure and therefore riskier payment methods. Third, the paymnet method was available and created no hardship for the retailers, so their decision to block these as payment options is wilful and deliberate. Those factors alone should be enough to prove that these retailers caused harm to customers by their decision.

  4. This is a long shot. Retailers can accept or refuse the payments methods that they want. Some take only cash. Some take MasterCard and VISA, but not Amex. Etc. It is hard to see how not taking Apple Pay is any different from the choices that retailers are already making and that are perfectly legal and legitimate. This issue has to be resolved in the marketplace, not the courtroom.

    1. Its different because all of the retailers participating in MCX have agreed or colluded to not accept other forms of payment ahead of time because of MCX’s contract with them. True retailers don’t have to accept credit cards but its the horizontal contract with retailers that makes this wrong. They are targeting specific forms of payment with an agreement in contract.

    2. Also, Apple Pay WAS working then they cut it off because of what mechanic50 said.

      Then there’s the point that MCX’s own system isn’t even ready yet, but that probably isn’t going to matter in court.

  5. I hate it when MDN blocks comments. My earlier comment that has been deleted was ranting about how the entitlement generation expects to have everything they want and they want it now. If not, let’s sue!!

    Of course, who am I kidding? this comment will never see the light of day because MDN wants only drinking the kool-aid comments on their site. Hey, I own apple stock too, but I wouldn’t stoop to creating a fake blog with edited fake comments just to boost stock price. I’m off to another Mac blog site where I can post and not be edited.

    1. You didn’t get what you want so you’re picking up your toys and going home? And you claim the current generation is entitled? Wow. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

    1. Agreed. If certain companies block it because of prior licensing deals, that is their CHOICE and they have the freedom of commerce to do business as they see fit.

      For freedom sake, I hope this goes nowhere fast.

      That said, stupid choice to not use the most secure/advanced payment system and eliminate well heeled Apple customers. They will simply take their business elsewhere.

  6. I have no intention of using CurrentC, but this litigation is a very bad idea. Let consumers pick the winners and losers in the market, not the courts or any other part of the government.


  7. I agree, this strikes me as ambulance chasing. If a store doesn’t want my business, I’m free to go elsewhere, and I will. Before  Pay, I’d just use my credit card. However, we now have a more secure method to pay, and I for one, intend to go out of my way to take advantage of this new payment option.

    Don’t think the other retailers didn’t notice when Walgreens reported sales jumped up “unexpectedly” last month. I expect when the smoke clears, MCX partners will be accepting NFC payments again, and simply using regular marketing to get people to sign up for their doomed payment method. I’d never give a retailer direct access to my checking account, not to mention giving up the security of the credit card company as middleman when a sales problem arises, and I need leverage to get my refund. When you let someone pull funds directly out of your checking account, that someone has no incentive to give it back, and it becomes you against the retailer. Good luck with that.

  8. I tried to use Apple Pay at Polo Tropical yesterday. The Apple Pay looked like it was going to work, then just kept saying put phone closer to register. I laid it on the sensor and the girl at the register said we don’t accept Apple Pay.?? They have it, but de activated Apple Pay functionality. Last meal at Polo Tropical.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.