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DOJs Antitrust Case Against Apple Targets Handling of Digital Payments

DOJs Antitrust Case Against Apple Targets Handling of Digital Payments

Mar 29, 2024

DOJs Antitrust Case Against Apple Targets Handling of Digital Payments

In a significant legal challenge, the Department of Justice (DOJ), alongside state prosecutors, has filed a comprehensive antitrust lawsuit against tech behemoth Apple. The nearly 90-page complaint, lodged last week, targets Apple's alleged monopolistic control over the smartphone market, particularly as it pertains to digital payment processing.

According to the DOJ, Apple's restrictive policies on digital wallet apps and near-field communication (NFC) technology create an unfair marketplace, limiting consumer choice and stifling competition. The suit claims that Apple's actions not only hinder the development of alternative wallet apps by developers and banks but also entrench users within Apple's ecosystem.

The government's allegations are met with staunch resistance from Apple, which defends its practices as legitimate and in service of consumer privacy, security, and seamless integration. Apple plans to vigorously contest the charges in what is expected to be a protracted legal battle, potentially spanning several years.

Authorities seek to open the iOS platform to third-party digital wallets, which would allow users to retain their financial data when switching to non-Apple devices.

A contentious point in the lawsuit is the fee Apple charges banks for credit card transactions made through Apple Pay, which prosecutors argue reduces the banks' ability to enhance mobile banking services.

The suit also calls for Apple to relinquish its exclusive control over the iPhone's NFC capabilities, a move that would encourage a broader range of contactless payment options beyond Apple Pay. New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkins, representing one of the 15 states joining the DOJ's case, emphasized the consumer harm caused by Apple's restrictive policies.

Beyond digital wallets, the lawsuit casts a critical eye on Apple's broader financial services endeavors, such as the Apple Pay and Apple Card, which offer incentives like cash back on purchases. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra and advocates like Adam Rust of the Consumer Federation of America express concerns about Big Tech's increasing dominance over financial services.

Apple's response to the antitrust allegations suggests that the suit represents an overstep of regulatory authority, with potential negative implications for technological innovation and consumer experience.

Bitcoin fixes this.

Originally reported by CNBC


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