Apple hit with class action suit for stifling rival tap-to-pay options
The devil is in the details of Apple’s policies, states Hagens Berman’s spokesperson
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple in the Northern District of California, accusing the tech giant of “illegally profiting from payment card issuers through its Apple Pay policies.”
Apple attained up to $1 billion in fees annually violating federal antitrust law, according to attorneys at Hagens Berman and Sperling & Slater.
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The violations come two-fold as Apple has not only linked its mobile devices and proprietary mobile wallet to push Apple Pay but also monopolized the market for tap-and-pay mobile wallets on iOS.
Compounding the payment ordeal, Apple charges card issuers who use Apple Pay ‘supracompetitive fees’ for services otherwise available on Android devices for free.
“When you compare the functionality of Apple Pay to mobile wallets available on Android devices – Google Pay, Samsung Pay – you’re essentially holding up a mirror; they are essentially identical,” said Steve Berman, Hagens Berman co-founder and managing partner.
“And yet, the same service on Android that card issuers pay absolutely nothing for costs them a collective $1 billion annually through Apple Pay.”
As matters stand, Apple charges US card issuers 15 basis points on credit and .5 cents on debit for all transactions made via Apple Pay.
“On the surface, Apple Pay’s fees pushed onto card issuers may seem small, but truly the devil is in the details of Apple’s policies, and these fees add up big time,” Berman added.
The antitrust lawsuit by Hagens Berman, representing a class of US credit unions and financial institutions, is geared towards reimbursing payment card issuers, in addition to seeking injunctive relief to counter Apple’s policies.
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