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EU Regulators Probe Deeper Into Apple Pay

 |  May 10, 2023

The European Union is conducting an antitrust investigation on Apple Pay due to its tap-to-pay platform. Recently, investigators requested additional information from retailers regarding the usage and availability of mobile payment platforms.

In a statement made nearly a year ago, the European Union presented its initial opinion that Apple engaged in anti-competitive behavior by limiting access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for mobile payment platforms. The EU argued that this hinders the ability of other payment platforms to compete with Apple, resulting in fewer options for consumers.

The European Commission sent a list of questions to retailers regarding Apple Pay and other mobile payment platforms. They have confirmed that they are examining other mobile payment technologies, such as those using QR codes and Bluetooth.

The availability of alternative mobile payment solutions, such as QR codes and bluetooth technologies, are being explored by the EU as an examination of options to Apple’s near-field communications chip. Two individuals, who requested anonymity, provided this information.

Read more: Consumer Group Joins EU Apple Antitrust Case

Apple’s digital wallet enables users to store virtual credit and debit cards as well as tickets on their iPhones, and the NFC chip allows for tap-to-pay transactions at a cash register. However, there are concerns raised by rival payment providers that Apple’s strict control over NFC antenna access violates EU competition regulations.

Some mobile payment platforms using QR code technology have faced resistance from consumers. Kroger, for instance, switched to Apple Pay after its QR code-based “Kroger Pay” failed to generate interest. Meanwhile, Walmart has chosen to stick with its QR code payment platform, even though some customers prefer Apple Pay.