This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 07/20/2022 at 11:53:39 (UTC).

Affinity Credit Union v. Apple Inc.

Case Summary

On July 18, 2022, Affinity Credit Union (“Plaintiff”), individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, represented by Ben M. Harrington of Hagens Berman, filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. (“Defendant”), seeking injunctive relief, damages for alleged violation of Sherman Antitrust Act. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with Judges Thomas S. and Hixson Beth Labson Freeman presiding. 

In the complaint, Plaintiff stated, “Apple is the leading manufacturer of smartphones, tablets and smart watches. But Apple is not content to dominate these mobile device markets. Instead, it exercises its market power in the device markets by requiring that consumers of its mobile devices also acquire its mobile wallet—Apple Pay—and prevents consumers from using competing mobile wallets capable of offering competing tap and pay solutions.”

The plaintiff also stated, “ Apple’s issuer fees are manifestly supracompetitive and the result of the anticompetitive conduct alleged herein. In the Android ecosystem, where multiple digital wallets compete, there are no issuer fees whatsoever.”

Plaintiff further stated that, “Apple has further cemented its market power by preventing all US-based card issuers from passing on Apple Pay’s fees to consumers.”

The plaintiff alleged, “ Thus, even though Apple’s exclusionary conduct—i.e., the restriction on the use of NFC technology—operates on point-of-sale transactions, Apple, by bundling  its tap and pay and e-commerce services, can extract the same monopoly rents on transactions in e- commerce. This compounds the injury card issuers suffer.”

Plaintiff’s additionally alleged that “Second, by foreclosing all competitors, Apple unlawfully monopolizes (and has attempted to monopolize) the market for tap and pay mobile wallets on iOS. This is a relevant antitrust market.”

Plaintiff’s alleged that “That Apple has profitably sustained its significant issuer fees, despite other free forms of payment, demonstrates that a hypothetical monopolist can (and has been able to) profitably impose a small but significant non- transitory increase in price (a SSNIP).Those alternative payment forms are therefore not in the same relevant antitrust market.”

Plaintiff also alleged, “ As a result of Apple’s exclusionary  conduct, Plaintiff and other issuers pay, and have paid, fees they would not have incurred in a competitive market. But that is not the extent of the harm. If there were multiple Tap and Pay iOS Mobile Wallets, the competing firms would need to innovate to differentiate their offerings, for example by improving the security of transactions. Consumers and issuers have been deprived of that innovation and differentiated choice among market alternatives.”

Plaintiff listed three claims for relief, including claims for the alleged attempted monopolization of tap and pay ios mobile wallet market (15 U.S.C. § 2) under the Sherman Act, and alleged violation of the Sherman Act. 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested for a judgment granting declaratory and injunctive relief and restitution. Plaintiff also requested an award for damages, monetary relief, and pre- and post- judgment interest together with costs of litigation.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    5:22-CV-04174

  • Filing Date:

    07/18/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Susan van Keulen

Presiding Judges

Thomas S. Hixson

Beth Labson Freeman

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Affinity Credit Union

Defendant

Apple Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Ben Michael Harrington

Attorney at Hagens Berman

715 Hearst Avenue, Suite 200

Berkeley, CA 94710

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#2

(#2) Proposed Summons. (Harrington, Ben) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#4

(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 10/13/2022. Initial Case Management Conference set for 10/20/2022 10:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom G, 15th Floor. (sfb, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#5

(#5) Summons Issued as to Apple Inc. (sfb, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

#6

(#6) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Affinity Credit Union.. (Harrington, Ben) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

#7

(#7) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number ACANDC-17362648.) filed by Affinity Credit Union. (Berman, Steve) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

9 #9

Main Document

9 #1

Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording

 

Docket Entries

  • 07/19/2022
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  • Docket(#9) ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned using a proportionate, random, and blind system pursuant to General Order No. 44 to Judge Beth Labson Freeman for all further proceedings. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson no longer assigned to case, Notice: The assigned judge participates in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Project. See General Order No. 65 and http://cand.uscourts.gov/cameras. Signed by Clerk on 07/19/2022. (Attachments: #1 Notice of Eligibility for Video Recording)(mbc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

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  • 07/19/2022
  • Docket(#8) CLERK'S NOTICE OF IMPENDING REASSIGNMENT TO A U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: The Clerk of this Court will now randomly reassign this case to a District Judge because either (1) a party has not consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge, or (2) time is of the essence in deciding a pending judicial action for which the necessary consents to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction have not been secured. You will be informed by separate notice of the district judge to whom this case is reassigned. ALL HEARING DATES PRESENTLY SCHEDULED BEFORE THE CURRENT MAGISTRATE JUDGE ARE VACATED AND SHOULD BE RE-NOTICED FOR HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE TO WHOM THIS CASE IS REASSIGNED. This is a text only docket entry; there is no document associated with this notice. (rmm2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

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  • 07/19/2022
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  • Docket(#7) MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice ( Filing fee $ 317, receipt number ACANDC-17362648.) filed by Affinity Credit Union. (Berman, Steve) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

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  • 07/19/2022
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  • Docket(#6) CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Affinity Credit Union.. (Harrington, Ben) (Filed on 7/19/2022) (Entered: 07/19/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
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  • Docket(#5) Summons Issued as to Apple Inc. (sfb, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#4) Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 10/13/2022. Initial Case Management Conference set for 10/20/2022 10:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom G, 15th Floor. (sfb, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
  • Docket(#3) Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 8/1/2022. (bw, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
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  • Docket(#2) Proposed Summons. (Harrington, Ben) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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  • 07/18/2022
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Class Action Complaint for Violation of the Sherman Act and Clayton Act against Apple Inc. ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number ACANDC-17358620.). Filed byAffinity Credit Union. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Harrington, Ben) (Filed on 7/18/2022) (Entered: 07/18/2022)

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