Apple hit by EU antitrust complaint over iPhone payments (1)
The issue centers on Apple Pay, which customers can use through the iPhone’s Near Field Communication chip. This allows them to tap to pay, which is not available for competing services, such as PayPal. Apple plans to
The situation appears to create an uneven playing field, EU regulators said.
“We have indications that Apple has restricted third-party access to key technology needed to develop competing mobile wallet solutions on Apple devices,” the EU antitrust chief said.
The decision to step up its investigation comes weeks after the EU approved sweeping new rules to limit how US tech companies operate in the region. the
The Apple Pay investigation was one of two cases that the European Commission
Apple defends its approach by noting the popularity of competing services on the iPhone. This includes PayPal, which is widespread in Europe, and a few other options that are more popular than Apple Pay in some European countries: MobilePay (Denmark), Swish (Sweden), and Payconiq (Belgium).
The company also said it was giving all banks equal access to the payments system, with 2,500 banks in Europe connected, as well as smaller fintech companies and start-up financial services.
“We designed Apple Pay to provide users with an easy and secure way to digitally present their existing payment cards and for banks and other financial institutions to offer contactless payments to their customers,” Apple said in a statement, saying that he “will continue to engage”. with the Commission to ensure that European consumers have access to the payment option of their choice in a safe and secure environment.
The EU’s decision could pave the way for multibillion-euro fines and an order to change the way Apple does business. But the company will have the opportunity to challenge the EU’s findings in writing and at a hearing.
(Updates with more information on Apple’s technology starting in the third paragraph.)
–With the help of
Peter Chapman, Nick Turner
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