UNITED STATES: The multi-billion dollar tech biggie, Apple, is being sued for exploiting its market power in the global phone industry to fend off competition from other payment card users. The class-action complaint was filed by an Iowa-based chartered credit union named Affinity Credit Union in a federal court in California.
This complaint entails that Apple ‘coerces’ consumers who own several electronic gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches into using its own payment medium, Apple Pay, unlike makers of Android devices who give their consumers a choice for alternative methods of payment like Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
The complaint also alleges that the multinational technology company hinders customers from using competing mobile wallets capable of offering competing tap and pay solutions.
Affinity Credit Union allegedly remarked that the company’s monopoly over payment methods had cost more than 4,000 banks and credit unions (that use Apple) nearly $1 billion in excess fees annually for the privilege.
It also noted that the company’s conduct minimised the incentive for the California -based company to increase Apple Pay’s efficiency and make it more resistant to security breaches.
The Credit Union said, “Apple’s conduct harms both issuers and consumers and competition as a whole.”
“If Apple faced competition, it could not sustain these substantial fees.”
The lawsuit seeks urgent executive action from the technology company over concerns about its unfair competitive methods.
Meanwhile, in another lawsuit, Apple has agreed to pay out $50 million to settle the case that alleged the company knew about the faulty butterfly keyboard on many MacBook models.
Back in 2015, the company was almost confident about its then-new MacBook models that came with a redesigned keyboard that used the so-called “butterfly” keys. Nearly all MacBook users complained about issues with the butterfly keyboard. The keys were sticky and occasionally unresponsive when used in the real world.
With the settlement, the company has evaded any further embarrassment in one of the most infamous cases that affected hundreds of thousands of MacBook users.
For four years, the company offered impacted buyers of MacBook models with butterfly keys complimentary key repairs. But as noted in the lawsuit, it also provided replacements to many customers.