Last week, Apple found itself the target of a new antitrust lawsuit over its efforts to block the integration of cryptocurrencies into its iOS payment apps. A class action lawsuit filed in federal court in California alleges that the tech giant’s powerful apps, like Venmo and Cash App, have entered into agreements that prevent decentralized cryptography from functioning.
According to the complaint, Apple uses its gatekeeper controls over the App Store and iOS platform to ensure that new payment apps exclude features such as cryptocurrency wallets and money transfers. Plaintiffs argue that the adjustments allow Apple to increase fees and stifle innovation that threatens fees for in-app transactions.
The consumers who filed the lawsuit are seeking damages for alleged overcharging and an injunction to stop Apple from requiring payment apps to restrict encryption tools.
The lawsuit comes as Apple faces increased scrutiny for anti-competitive distribution practices related to iOS apps. Back in April, an appeals court ruled against rules barring developers from directing users to external payment methods. Crypto apps also face hurdles in staying in the App Store given Apple’s strict guidelines and revenue sharing policies.
Apple has yet to officially respond to this latest incident.