Contactless payments: Apple accused of abuse of dominant position by the European Commission

Contactless payments: Apple accused of abuse of dominant position by the European Commission

To discover the news of FrenchTech, and the information not to be missed directly in your mailbox at 3 p.m. every day, click here The European Commission on Monday accused the American giant Apple of blocking competition in contactless payment systems, by imposing its Apple Pay service on users of its mobile phones. The EU executive said the iPhone maker was “abusing its dominant position in mobile wallet markets” by preventing competing solutions from working on its devices, according to a statement.

Brussels, which plays the role of guardian of competition in the EU, had already pinned Apple last year for anti-competitive practices in the online music market, one of the many files having opposed it to American giants of the tech. Regarding Apple Pay, the Commission had opened an investigation in June 2020. On Monday, it informed Apple in writing of the grievances against it. This is a formal step that does not prejudge the outcome of this investigation. The company now has access to the file and will be able to respond to the accusations made.

“Apple has restricted third-party access to the necessary key technology”

“We have evidence indicating that Apple has restricted third party access to key technology needed to develop competing mobile wallet solutions on Apple devices (…) in favor of Apple Pay, its proprietary solution said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at a press conference. Apple Pay is the only mobile wallet solution to have access to the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology fitted to the iPhone or iPad to exchange the data necessary for contactless payment in stores or online, underlines the Commission.

Brussels “challenges Apple's decision to block competing app developers” from accessing necessary hardware and software on its devices. For its part, Apple justifies access restrictions by its concern to ensure security for its customers. “Apple Pay is just one of the many options available to European consumers for making payments,” the Apple brand responded in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the Commission to ensure that European consumers have access to the payment option of their choice in a safe and secure environment,” she added. No deadline has been set for the continuation of the EU investigation. If Apple is found guilty, it will have to remedy its practices or face fines of up to 10% of its annual turnover.