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Apple sued over tap-to-pay mobile payments

Jul 19, 2022
Illustration of an apple on a block with a hand holding a gavel hovering over it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A class action lawsuit accuses Apple of antitrust law violations related to its tap-to-pay mobile payments feature.

Why it matters: The lawsuit, filed by Affinity Credit Union, could put further pressure on Apple to open up its walled garden and give third-party developers access to its contactless payments capabilities.

Details: The complaint in the Northern District of California alleges Apple is violating federal antitrust law by denying competitors access to its tap-to-pay tech and illegally extracting fees from payment card issuers.

  • It says the iPhone maker receives over $1 billion yearly by charging up to 0.15% per transaction. In the lawsuit, Affinity predicts that amount will quadruple by 2023.
  • Notably, competing mobile wallets on Android devices — like Google Pay and Samsung Pay — do not charge fees for contactless payments.

State of play: This isn't the only recent challenge Apple has received over its implementation of contactless payments.

  • In May, the EU notified Apple that it reached a preliminary finding that the company violated antitrust laws by limiting the iPhone's tap-to-pay system to support only its own applications.
  • Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
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