Russian users sue Apple after payment service pulled -lawyers

(Reuters) – A Russian law firm on Friday said it had filed a lawsuit against U.S. tech giant Apple seeking 90 million roubles ($1.28 million) in damages for consumers affected by Apple withdrawing its payment service from Russia.

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Law firm Chernyshov, Lukoyanov & Partners said Apple had violated Russian consumers’ rights after the company restricted the use of its built-in Apple Pay service on March 1 in response to Moscow sending troops into Ukraine.

The lawsuit, which it said had been filed with a Moscow court, is seeking 90 million roubles in damages, which it said included compensation for “moral damage” caused to citizens.

It also wants Apple to resume operation of Apple Pay services for Russian users.

The total figure could rise as the law firm is still inviting more claimants to join the suit.

Senior Partner Konstantin Lukoyanov said Apple’s main U.S. company had made the decision to suspend sales of Apple products and restrict services offered in Russia.

“Therefore, our lawsuit’s claims are directed firstly at the parent company and secondly at its subsidiary units,” he said in a statement.

The law firm said Apple’s decision to halt Apple Pay services in Russia had reduced the functionality of its devices sold on the local market, thereby lowering their value, actions it said were unfair and discriminatory under Russian law.

The same law firm is pursuing a similar lawsuit against streaming company Netflix, which in March suspended its service in Russia.

($1 = 70.1260 roubles)

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