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Apple Faces Fresh Lawsuit Over iPhone's Tap To Pay Monopoly

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A class action lawsuit will target Apple Pay, claiming that Apple has an unconstitutional dominance over payments made through contactless on the iPhone, forcing card issuers to make payments (via Bloomberg). 

The lawsuit has been initiated by the state-based Affinity Credit Union, which offers credit and debit cards that work with Apple Pay. 

Still, the Affinity Credit Union's lawyers hope to turn it into a class-action case so other card issuers can be part of the suit.

In the suit you can read in its entirety below, Apple earns more than $1 billion a year, charging credit card companies as much as 0.15 percent per transaction. 

The lawsuit claims that Apple violates antitrust laws by making Apple Pay the only service that can make NFC transactions on iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. 

It further claims that Apple prohibits card issuers from transferring the fees to consumers; therefore, iPhone users don't have a reason to look for another less expensive payment option. 

Still, the same card issuers don't need to pay any fees for their customers who use "functionally similar Android payment devices."

However, no matter if the judge believes that's the case, they can nevertheless decide that there's not a true monopoly since customers can switch to Android and other mobile wallets available in the market.

Lawsuits aren't automatically granted class-action status — a judge has to decide whether or not to grant that. 

But the law firm that is handling the Affinity lawsuit Affinity, Hagens Berman, has an experience with class-action lawsuits against Apple and was involved in getting developers a settlement of $100 million 

following allegations it was unfair to Apple's App Store's regulations were unjust as well as the ebook price-fixing lawsuit which resulted in Apple paying approximately $400 million back to its customers.

According to the press release issued by Law firm XL, the suit aims to alter Apple's policies. 

Apple policies require all payments made via contactless to be processed through Apple Pay and the company to refund card issuers for charges that the plaintiffs claim it has illegally been able to charge.