Brussels regulators have charged Apple with breaking EU competition law by abusing its dominant position in mobile payments to limit rivals’ access to contactless technology.
Antitrust investigators are concerned that the company is preventing competitors from accessing “tap and go” chips or near-field communication (NFC) to benefit its own Apple Pay system, the European Commission said in a statement on Monday.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, said Brussels had “indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices”. She added that the commission had “preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution Apple Pay”. If confirmed, “such a conduct would be illegal under our competition rules”, Vestager said.
The company could face fines worth up to 10% of global turnover if the charges are upheld. The EU charge is the latest in a number of antitrust investigations opened against the tech giant in Brussels. Apple is also facing scrutiny over the way it may be disadvantaging rivals on the App Store by taking 30% of some subscription fees while denying some services the option of telling users there are other ways of upgrading.
Source: Financial Times