Apple found itself the target of a new antitrust lawsuit last week over alleged efforts to block cryptocurrency integration in iOS payment apps. The class action complaint, filed in a California federal court, claims the tech giant strong-armed apps like Venmo and Cash App into agreements that hamper decentralized crypto capabilities.
According to the suit, Apple utilizes its gatekeeper control over the App Store and iOS platform to ensure new payment apps exclude functionality like cryptocurrency wallets or transfers. The plaintiffs argue this coordination allows Apple to inflate its fees and stifle innovation that would threaten its commissions on in-app transactions.
The consumers bringing the case forward are seeking damages for alleged overcharging, as well as an injunction to stop Apple from mandating payment apps restrict crypto tools.
The lawsuit arrives as Apple faces growing scrutiny for anticompetitive distribution practices related to iOS apps. Back in April, an appeals court ruled against its rules barring developers from directing users to external payment methods. Crypto apps have also faced hurdles staying on the App Store given Apple's strict guidelines and revenue-sharing policies.
Apple has yet to publicly respond to this latest case.