Apple Accused of Violating EU Antitrust Rules

The European Commission has accused Apple of violating antitrust rules, alleging the company of restricting competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

The commission said that Apple has not made available to third-party application developers of mobile wallets the access to Near-Field Communication (NFC) input on iOS. Apple has reserved access to NFC technology to Apple Pay, restricting competition, the commission added.

“This has an exclusionary effect on competitors and leads to less innovation and less choice for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones,” the European Commission said.

The NFC or “tap-and-go” technology enables the communication between two devices close to each other. Apple has embedded this technology on its Apple mobile devices for in-store payments, the commission said.

The European Commission said that Apple will be subjected to the infringement of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) once the preliminary findings are confirmed. TFEU prohibits the abuse of a dominant market position.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said that a “competitive and innovative payment landscape” is important for consumers’ benefit.

An Apple spokesperson said that Apple Pay is only one of the many options for digital payments in Europe, and the mobile wallet has ensured equal access to NFC. The spokesperson also said that the company will engage with the European Commission to provide customers with safe and secure payment options.

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