Fighting the Tech Chokehold

Surely, human beings are the smartest species to ever walk the earth, but that hasn’t saved us from making a mistake every now and then. While these mistakes, in turn, do a lot to improve us over time, they have also shown a tendency to cause irreparable damage on some occasions. With such a vulnerable dynamic running the show, anyone would prefer to have a defensive cover at their disposal, and to the world’s credit, it will find that exact cover in a dedicated regulatory industry. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, considering it instantly provided a cushion against a lot of our shortcomings. However, as utopian as it felt, this newfound dynamic didn’t last for very long, and if we are being honest, it was all because of technology. You see, the moment technology and its layered nature took over the scene, it give people an unprecedented chance at exploiting others’ missteps to fulfil their own ulterior motives. This disturbed what we had so meticulously built, but events of the recent are now suggesting a major shift in the tide. This very suggestion was put on display by a lawsuit against Apple.

Iowa-based Affinity Credit Union has formally proposed a class action lawsuit against Apple in relation to Apple Pay’s possible monopoly over contactless payments on the iPhone. The lawsuit points at an antitrust violation on the tech giant’s part, as it makes Apple Pay the only service that can carry out NFC payments on its iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. This issue is accentuated when you realize how Apple makes over $1 billion a year by charging credit card companies up to 0.15 percent per transaction in Apple Pay fees, while at the same time; these card issuers don’t have to pay anything when their customers use “functionally identical Android wallets.” The complaint also says that the organization prevents card issuers from passing on those costs to customers, thus ensuring customer retention at the expense of credit card companies.

Interestingly enough, Affinity Card Union’s representation in this case has a long history of going up against Apple. The firm was responsible for getting developers a $100 million settlement after alleging that the App Store’s rules were unfair, Apart from it, the firm also won a whopping $400 million back from Apple in an e-book price fixing case.

“Apple’s conduct harms not only issuers, but also consumers and competition as a whole,” Affinity Credit Union said. “If Apple faced competition, it could not sustain these substantial fees.”


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