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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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 Pay Feature

Australia Continues to Scrutinize Apple Pay Amid Push for Regulation

Monday August 30, 2021 6:31 am PDT by
The government of Australia is considering creating new laws that could more heavily regulate digital payments systems such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and WeChat Pay (via Reuters). An Australian government-commissioned report into digital payments systems has made a number of recommendations, one of which suggested actively regulating Apple Pay and other similar digital payments services....
apple pay qatar qnb

Apple Pay Launches in Qatar

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple Pay has launched for iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac users in Qatar, expanding Apple's regional reach for its mobile payment solution, according to a post by the QNB Group (via AppleInsider). Apple Pay in Qatar will first be available with the Dukhan Bank and QNB Group, which calls itself the "largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa." Other banks in the country can be...
Apple Pay Feature

Survey: Only 6% of U.S. iPhone Users Who Set Up Apple Pay Actually Use It

Tuesday September 7, 2021 8:36 am PDT by
Only six percent of iPhone users in the United States who have Apple Pay set up actually use the feature, according to a detailed study by PYMNTS. Seven years after Apple Pay launched in September 2014, 93.9 percent of consumers with Apple Pay activated on their iPhone do not use it to pay for in-store purchases, meaning that only 6.1 percent do. In 2015, the year following Apple Pay's...
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 ...
Apple Pay Feature

Apple Working on 'Apple Pay Later' Feature With Monthly Installments for Apple Pay Purchases

Tuesday July 13, 2021 11:51 am PDT by
Apple is developing a new pay later service that will let customers pay for Apple Pay purchases in installments over time, reports Bloomberg. Installment payment options will be available for all Apple Pay purchases, with the feature not limited to Apple products. The service is similar to Paypal's Buy Now, Pay Later feature, and internally, it's being called "Apple Pay Later." Apple is...
coinbase app mobile

Coinbase Users Can Now Buy Crypto Assets Using Apple Pay

Friday August 6, 2021 1:23 am PDT by
Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced that it is now allowing traders to use bank cards linked to Apple Pay to purchase crypto assets on the platform. "Today, we're introducing new and seamless ways to enable crypto buys with linked debit cards to Apple Pay and Google Pay, and instant cashouts up to $100,000 per transaction available 24/7," said a Coinbase blog post on...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple to Allow In-App Third-Party Payment Options for First Time in the Netherlands

Saturday January 15, 2022 12:39 am PST by
Apple has announced that it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind. In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compels the company to allow third-party payment services to...
apple pay contactless terminal

Apple Pay Expected to Launch in Israel Early Next Month

Thursday April 22, 2021 1:55 am PDT by
After several false dawns, Apple Pay looks finally ready to come to Israel early next month, based on local reports. According to Hebrew-language site Calcalist, barring a last-minute change, Apple is expected to launch its digital payment system in the country in the first week of May. Several previous reports over the last year have hinted at an imminent Apple Pay launch in Israel, but...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...