Law firm Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe has launched an antitrust investigation into CVS and Rite Aid over their decision to stop accepting Apple Pay in their retail stores. As noted by MacRumors, the firm, which specializes in class action lawsuits, made the announcement on their blog last night.
Attorneys for Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe say that the two retail chains may have violated anti-trust laws, and the situation has class action potential. “Consumers with phones that support Apple Pay may be able to participate in a class action to restore the service at CVS and Rite Aid retail stores.”
Both CVS and Rite Aid stores stopped accepting wireless payments last month following the launch of Apple Pay. The reason for the move is due to their involvement in the Merchant Customer Exchange (or MCX), a consortium of retailers developing their own mobile payment system called CurrentC.
MCX has admitted that it has an exclusivity agreement with its retail partners, in order to give CurrentC time to develop, but it does say that this won’t be the case forever, and partners are free to leave the group at any time. CurrentC is currently being tested in Minnesota and various other markets.
Schubert Jonckheer & Kolbe is asking that iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Android owners who have attempted to use Apple Pay or Google Wallet at CVS or Rite Aid contact them regarding the investigation. Keep in mind this is all preliminary for now, and it’s very likely this case will never make it to court.
What do you think, does this case hold water? Are the MCX partners violating anti-trust laws?