Judge orders Apple to face Apple Pay antitrust lawsuit

A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered Apple to face a private antitrust lawsuit by payment card issuers accusing the company of thwarting competition for its Apple Pay mobile wallet.

Apple Pay
Apple Pay

Jonathan Stempel and Mike Scarcella for Reuters:

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said the plaintiffs could try to prove that Apple violated the federal Sherman antitrust law by enforcing a 100% monopoly over the domestic market for tap-and-pay wallets for iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.

The Oakland, California-based judge also dismissed a “tying” claim, which accused Apple of requiring purchasers of iOS devices to buy Apple Pay or forego purchases of competing wallets.

The proposed class action is led by Illinois’ Consumers Co-op Credit Union, and Iowa’s Affinity Credit Union and GreenState Credit Union.

They said Apple “coerces” people who use its smartphones, tablets and smart watches into using its own wallet for tap-and-pay transactions, unlike makers of Android-based devices that let people choose wallets such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

In seeking a dismissal, Apple said it charged “nominal” fees to even smaller card issuers, and that the plaintiffs ignored the “competitive reality” that consumers could still pay with cash, credit and debit cards, and other means.

MacDailyNews Take: No iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch user is “coerced” to use Apple Pay instead of cash, cards, etc.

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