Apple’s Payment Empire Faces Antitrust Scrutiny in Europe

Posted on 12/05/2020

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets is taking a deeper look into Apple pay, a service from Apple Inc. The Dutch antitrust regulator is probing whether users get a free choice of financial apps with contactless payments. The regulator did not name Apple, but in a December 4, 2020 release, cited concerns that, “the software on some smartphones only allows the software developer’s own payment app to connect to NFC communication.”

iPhone and Apple Watch users can only make near-field communication (NFC) payments using Apple Pay. Apple’s competition complains that they want the same functionality for their own iPhone apps, while Apple refuses access to the chip.

Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets stated in a release that they, “will investigate whether limiting the payment apps’ access to NFC communication reduces the users’ freedom of choice,” it said. If it “does establish a violation, it may result in a penalty, such as a fine.”

On another note, pple Pay’s terms and conditions for merchant apps and websites are also being probe by EU antitrust officials.

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