EU Plans to Hit Apple With Antitrust Charges Over Apple Pay

The European Commission is planning to charge Apple with anticompetitive behavior with regards to Apple Pay, since it is the only payment service that can use the iPhone's Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, Reuters reports.

apple pay
EU antitrust investigator Margrethe Vestager has been investigating ‌Apple Pay‌ since June last year, but the European Commission has since centered its focus on the NFC chip alone, according to individuals familiar with the matter speaking to Reuters.

The NFC chip in the ‌iPhone‌ and Apple Watch enables tap-and-go contactless payments, but ‌Apple Pay‌ is the only payment service that can use this hardware. On Android devices, multiple payment services can offer contactless payments using the NFC chip, but on the ‌iPhone‌, no rival services are allowed to leverage the NFC hardware.

The Commission's preliminary concerns also reportedly include Apple's terms and conditions on how ‌Apple Pay‌ should be used in merchants' apps and on websites. Concerns may have been raised by ‌Apple Pay‌'s wide reach and better user experience on the ‌iPhone‌ compared to other services, and accelerated by the growth of contactless payments during the global health crisis.

The EU competition enforcer is now believed to be preparing a statement of objections to charge Apple with anticompetitive conduct, which is expected to be sent to the company next year. The antitrust charge could put Apple at risk of a large fine and force it to open the NFC chip to rival payment systems in Europe. Similar investigations have also been opened in Australia.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

jarman92 Avatar
11 months ago
What is it that the EU doesn't understand about consumers not wanting massive fragmentation in every aspect of their lives? For example, if banks are allowed direct access to the NFC chip they're going to force you to open/use their terrible apps to use Apple Pay. Without Apple strong-arming them, they would have already done so in Australia.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
From Win to Mac Avatar
11 months ago
Perhaps a lawyer can jump in for this question: when a company is accused of antitrust behavior, isn't there a requirement that consumers are forced to use the product, or are at least significantly disadvantaged if they don't?

I mean it in the context of, no one is really forced to buy an iPhone, anyone can easily switch to Android. I contrast that with Microsoft's antitrust in the 90s, where they had 90% market share and much of the software was only available on Windows, which de facto forced everyone onto Windows.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
11 months ago
Is this really an issue? I mean, Apple Pay is just a conduit, that allows a payment card provider to offer NFC on the iPhone. It's not like you're only limited to using Apple Card. I have all my cards in Apple Pay and can use any one of them, and it's exactly the same from my perspective as using the card directly.

Apple just provides a conduit and interface, not really the service itself.

If it were something like, only Apple Card can use Apple Pay, I'd get it, but it's not like that.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HQuest Avatar
11 months ago

Concerns may have been raised by Apple Pay's wide reach and better user experience on the iPhone compared to other services
Quick, let us sue them for doing a good service, so bad services have a chance to fail even more.
— Europeans
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bandrews Avatar
11 months ago
Not sure if anyone has posted this yet but the worst part about opening it up to everyone is that banks can then force you to use their own proprietary contactless payment app. Not sure if it's still the case but when I had a Pixel 5 last year I was unable to add my Barclays card to Google Pay as Barclays only allowed contactless payments through their own app. A nightmare if you want to regularly switch between different cards from different banks. This fragmentation is a bit like the opposite of their USB-C decision which aims to simplify and standardise.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rigby Avatar
11 months ago

Thank goodness the UK left the EU
Yeah, well, at least you don't need Apple Pay to pay for gas, since there isn't any. :p
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Apple Logo Cash Orange 1

Former Apple Employee Charged With Defrauding Company of Over $10 Million

Monday March 21, 2022 3:57 am PDT by
A former Apple employee involved in the company's supply chain and responsible for making order purchases and invoicing them back to Apple has been charged by U.S prosecutors for defrauding the tech giant of over $10 million, Reuters reports. According to court filings in San Jose, California seen by Reuters, Dhirendra Prasad, a former employee in Apple's supply chain, is facing five...
mir russia apple pay

Apple Closes Loophole That Allowed Mir Cardholders to Use Apple Pay in Russia

Friday March 25, 2022 1:41 pm PDT by
Apple this week suspended its Apple Pay service for the Mir card payment system in Russia, effectively closing a loophole that had allowed Russians to continue to use the Apple Pay service. According to Reuters, Mir had remained connected to Apple Pay even after Apple restricted the use of the payments service in Russia on March 1 for Mastercard and Visa cardholders. Russia's National...
tap to pay on iphone credit card

Stripe Launches 'Tap to Pay on iPhone' Beta Program Ahead of 'Spring' Release

Tuesday February 8, 2022 9:28 am PST by
Stripe today announced a closed beta program for Apple's upcoming "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature, with a sign-up form available on its website. The payment platform said the feature is "coming this spring" in the United States. Tap to Pay on iPhone will allow newer iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional...
iOS App Store General Feature Clorange

Apple Fined €5 Million for Ninth Time in the Netherlands Over Third-Party In-App Payment Systems

Tuesday March 22, 2022 5:00 am PDT by
Apple has been hit with its ninth €5 million ($5.5 million) fine in the Netherlands for ostensibly continuing to insufficiently meet new requirements regarding alternative payment systems for dating apps, Reuters reports. The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that Apple had sent it "new proposals" on Monday in an attempt to resolve the company's dispute over allowing...
ing belgium apple pay

ING Belgium Announces Support for Apple Pay

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 am PDT by
ING Belgium today announced support for Apple Pay, offering the bank's customers another way to pay using contactless without needing their physical debit card to hand. The 1.4 million customers who do their banking via the ING Banking app will now be able to use their ING cards with Apple Pay to make payments even more easily, said the bank in a press release. "We're constantly looking for ...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

Apple Developing Hardware Subscription Service for iPhones and Other Devices

Thursday March 24, 2022 10:18 am PDT by
Apple is developing a hardware subscription service that would allow customers to "subscribe" and receive an iPhone or other Apple device as part of their subscription, similar to the way current Apple subscriptions like iCloud work, reports Bloomberg. Customers would be able to pay a monthly subscription fee and gain access to a device for the subscription period. This would be ideal for...
apple pay contactless terminal

Australia Considers Case for Opening iPhone NFC Chip to Third Party Payment Systems

Monday July 26, 2021 5:33 am PDT by
Apple on Monday responded to questions from Australia's parliament about its third-party access approach to the NFC chip in its iPhones, following claims that its Apple Pay system is stifling innovation in the contactless payment technology space. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services heard for-and-against arguments from Apple, Google, and others relating...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple to Collect 27% Commission on Third-Party App Payment Systems in the Netherlands

Friday February 4, 2022 3:16 am PST by
Apple says it will take 27% commission on purchases made in dating apps through third-party payment options in the Netherlands, in compliance with a Dutch regulatory ruling. In an update on its developer support site, Apple said it would collect 27% commission instead of its usual 30% on transactions made in dating apps that use alternative payment methods. Apple says the decreased...

Popular Stories

ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
ios 16 battery indicator 2

Everything New in iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage in Status Bar, Find My Changes and More

Monday August 8, 2022 12:53 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, introducing some small but notable changes to the iOS operating system. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up everything new in the fifth beta below. Battery Percentage in Status Bar The battery icon in the status bar now displays the exact battery percent, a feature that ...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
airpods pro black background

Beyond iPhone 14: Five Apple Products Expected to Launch Later This Year

Monday August 8, 2022 9:43 am PDT by
While the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are expected to be announced in September as usual, there are several more Apple products rumored to launch later this year, including new iPad and Mac models and more. Beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch, we've put together a list of five Apple products that are most likely to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Second-Generation AirPods Pro Apple...