A judge has ruled that Apple will face a proposed class-action lawsuit over Apple Pay.
Three American credit unions are leading the lawsuit, Reuters reports. They argue the tech giant is violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by enforcing Apple Pay as the dominant digital wallet and “unlawfully” monopolizing the mobile wallet market for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White did agree with Apple that iOS device consumers aren’t forced to use Apple Pay, which is free. “Purchase of Apple Pay cannot be a condition of purchase of an iOS mobile device because consumers do not actually purchase Apple Pay or agree to forgo purchase of other tap-and-pay iOS mobile wallets.”
However, the plaintiffs point out that Apple has a “de facto tie” between its devices and Apple Pay, unlike Android devices, where users have options for mobile wallets, including Google Wallet and Samsung Wallet.
The judge partially denied Apple’s request to dismiss the case, noting the plaintiffs’ “plausible” claim of Apple’s monopoly.
The parties will next meet in court on December 1st.