Apple’s decision to only allow Apple Pay to access the NFC chip in iPhones could result in the Silicon Valley giant paying heavy anti-monopoly fines in Europe.
The EU will indict Cupertino for its tap-to-pay system anti-competitive, Reuters reported, citing sources. The Euro antitrust authorities are apparently not happy that the NFC chips in iPhones and iPads are limited to iGiant’s pay software and that alternative wireless payment apps are wrongly locked out.
The charges will be the result of an investigation by the European Commission launched last year into Apple’s terms and conditions with merchants, restricted access to NFC hardware, and more.
“It is important that Apple’s actions do not deprive consumers of the benefits of new payment technologies, including better choice, quality, innovation and competitive prices,” said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in 2020 practices related to Apple Pay and its impact on competition . “
This probe focused on the built-in NFC electronics, which are tightly integrated with Apple Pay and are not open to competing payment systems. The European Commission argued that the supercompany’s design choices “may distort competition and limit choice and innovation”.
Now the EU competition enforcer is reportedly preparing an indictment describing the alleged anti-competitive behavior that could be sent to Apple over the next year.
Apple’s in-house payment systems are or have been in the crosshairs of various nations, from Europe to America to Australia.
South Korea passed a law in August compelling Google and Apple to allow the use of third-party payment systems for app and in-app purchases, which Google has chosen not to fight.
Apple has also settled an antitrust case over the monopoly nature of its payments system in which it has agreed to make some concessions in the United States. Similarly, as a result of Epic’s legal action against Apple, the iGiant will allow apps to direct their users to alternative payment platforms.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. EU spokeswoman Arianna Podesta told us: “We have no comment – this investigation is ongoing.” ®