ANTITRUST

EU Watchdog Probes Apple Pay Over Anticompetitive Conduct

EU, antitrust, anticompetitive, Apple, Apple Pay, NFC

The Apple payment platform, Apple Pay, is again being investigated by the European Commission again, MLex reported on Wednesday (Oct. 16). 

A report says that European Union antitrust regulators are gathering information from other payments companies about Apple’s marketplace decorum.

The investigation is looking at how iPhone users set up their phones and the role Apple Pay plays. Regulators are also examing Apple Pay’s exclusivity on iOS since Apple denies other payment platforms to use its Wallet app. 

A European Commission spokesperson told MLex that the watchdog agency was investigating “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”

The probe is in the early stages and if no proof is discovered, the investigation will possibly discontinue. 

“In this context, the commission is actively monitoring the development of mobile payment solutions, the behavior by operators active in the payments sector, including mobile payments,” the EU Commission spokesperson told MLex.

European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said last year that she knew Apple was limiting access to the iPhone’s contactless payments chip called the Near-Field Communication (NFC) interface.

Apple’s core payment functionality defaults to Apple Pay and when users go to pay for goods on an NFC reader, the Apply Pay interface is offered. 

Apple is promoting Apple Pay even more with the recent rollout of the Goldman Sachs-backed Apple Card. Apple executives have also said that Apple Pay is growing and will overtake PayPal.

Although Apple said earlier this year that Apple Pay would start to support other NFC platforms with partners like Bird scooters and PayByPhone parking meters, that has yet to happen. 

Apple said in June that Apple Pay was planning to add support for users in the Netherlands and also expanded services for Revolut users. Apple Pay has also been rolling out internationally in many different countries and is also growing in the U.S. among retailers and transit systems.

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