The European Commission has notified Apple of a preliminary allegation that the company was abusing its position in the mobile payment markets on iOS devices. By restricting access to standard technology used for contactless payments via mobile devices in stores (Near-Field Communication, NFC), Apple is restricting competition in the mobile payment market on iOS, says the statement of the European Commission.
The European Commission has criticized Apple’s decision to ban mobile payment application developers from accessing the necessary hardware and software on their devices in favor of Apple Pay’s own solution.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Mobile payments play a rapidly growing role in our digital economy. It is important for the integration of European Payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative payments landscape. We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices. In our Statement of Objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution Apple Pay. If confirmed, such a conduct would be illegal under our competition rules.”
Apple Pay is Apple’s own mobile payment solution on iPhone , Apple Watch and iPad, which is used for payment in regular stores and websites. In this way, Apple devices and software form a “closed ecosystem.” The company controls all aspects of users’ work in this ecosystem, including access to mobile payment developers.
The European Commission has previously believed that Apple has significant power in the mobile market and a dominant position in the mobile payment market.