With its Apple Pay payment service, the Cupertino-based company is violating European competition regulations, at least according to the preliminary findings of an ongoing investigation by the EU Commission. As a result, Apple may face heavy antitrust fines.
Restriction of competition by Apple
The company is accused of using Apple Pay to restrict access to a standard technology for contactless payments with mobile devices, which restricts competition in favor of its own offered solution, according to the EU Commission.
“It is important for the integration of European payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative market environment,” commented the vice president in charge .
However, the company said there was evidence that Apple was restricting third-party access to the key technologies needed to use mobile wallets on Apple devices and within the iOS operating system, the statement added.
Threatening antitrust fine
The case against Apple was initiated back in 2020. Apple now has the opportunity to comment on the objectionable points.
If there is no change in the EU Commission’s assessment after that, it may seek formal antitrust proceedings against Apple, which could result in heavy antitrust fines. Apple could face fines of up to ten percent of its annual global sales.
Banks in particular have been criticizing Apple for some time and see themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to mobile payment options. Their main criticism is that they can’t access the NFC radio chip that lets you make contactless payments with your iPhone.
Apple Pay is the only way to get access to the NFC chip on iPhones. For Apple, this is a technical solution to ensure secure payment and assures that anyone who wants access to Apple Pay will get it.
However, with the submission of the statement of objections, the EU Commission is also pushing ahead with another case against Apple at the same time. Last year, Apple was already accused of unfair competition in the area of the app store on the iPhone and iPad. At the time, providers of music streaming apps saw themselves at a disadvantage. Could this be the next penalty?