The EU is looking even further into possible antitrust violations regarding Apple, with regulators trying to find out if online sales companies were ordered to use the tech giant’s mobile payment service instead of rival services.
An EU document seen by Reuters showed that the European Commission has claimed to have information that Apple possibly restricted online payments made via merchant apps or websites. In fact, a questionnaire sent out in August specifically asked companies if they signed a contract to commit to a specific payment method, and if it included conditions for integrating Apple Pay into their apps and websites.
“The Commission is actively monitoring the development of mobile payment solutions, [and] the behavior by operators active in the payments sector, including mobile payments,” the EU regulator confirmed.
In turn, Apple said its payment system is so widely used because it offers the safest and most secure solution in the market.
“[The] iPhone has completely transformed mobile payments by providing customers with a choice of how to pay, including cash, credit card and debit card, as well using apps from the major banks and financial institutions,” the company stated.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the EU was looking into how iPhone users set up their phones, and the role Apple Pay plays, with regulators examining Apple Pay’s exclusivity on iOS. A European Commission spokesperson said at the time that regulators were investigating “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”
Last year, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said that she knew Apple was limiting access to the iPhone’s contactless payments chip called the Near-Field Communication (NFC) interface.