Apple Victorious in Antitrust Suit Against Venmo and CashApp Fees

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria has thrown out an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, which was brought by Venmo and CashApp customers. The customers alleged that Apple Cash, a product by Apple, was anticompetitive. The lawsuit, filed in November 2023 in San Jose, claimed that Apple’s practices with the Apple iOS App Store were monopolistic. According to the complaint, Apple made it difficult for competitors of its Apple Pay service to introduce desirable features, such as integrating decentralized cryptocurrency payments. As a result, the complainants argued that services like Venmo, CashApp, and others were unable to offer competitive pricing and improved functionality for iOS users.

Judge Chhabria granted Apple’s motion to dismiss the case on March 26, 2024. The court filing stated that the complaint had several significant issues. The plaintiffs failed to establish specific antitrust actions taken by Apple and did not explain why other competitors, like Zelle, were not included in the lawsuit. The court also referred to the plaintiffs’ claims as “speculative” and questioned their flawed premise. The initial complaint alleged that Apple’s terms of service prevented Venmo and CashApp from including cryptocurrency features on the App Store. The judge dismissed the relevance of this argument, stating that it is unclear how companies agreeing to Apple’s guidelines can be considered an unlawful agreement.

The plaintiffs have 21 days to submit amendments to the case that could potentially justify the continuation of the lawsuit. Given the judge’s remarks, the odds may not be in the plaintiffs’ favor. Judge Chhabria pointed out that the current ruling has revealed multiple problems with the complaint and suggested that it would be challenging for any amendments to salvage the case. The court has granted the plaintiffs permission to file an amended complaint, but if they fail to do so within 21 days, the dismissal will be final.

Judge Chhabria dismissed the antitrust lawsuit against Apple brought by Venmo and CashApp customers. The lawsuit accused Apple of engaging in anticompetitive practices. The court ruled that the complaint lacked sufficient evidence of antitrust actions and did not address why other competitors were not included. The judge also dismissed the argument that Apple’s terms of service prohibit cryptocurrency features on Venmo and CashApp. The plaintiffs have a limited time to amend their complaint, but the judge’s remarks suggest that the case may not succeed. If no amended complaint is filed within the given timeframe, the dismissal will be permanent.

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