Uh, Apple Pay is "Anticompetitive." Or are they being Accused of being too Good?
EU preliminary ruling decision takes issue with access to NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets...
In familiar territory which seems to be for the last 2-3 years, Apple has been hit with another antitrust accusation by the EU over its exclusion of rivals from its Apple Pay mobile payment system. They are being accused of being too good? The EU sent Apple the formal state with the preliminary view that the company has abused its dominant position in mobile wallets on iPhone products. Once again: They are being accused of being too good?
“The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay. Today’s Statement of Objections takes issue only with the access to NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets for payments in stores.”
According to the EU Apple has had an “exclusionary” behavior - being accused of being too good - which “leads to less innovation and less choice for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones.” The company will have the chance to respond. The EU also notes that the sending of the statement “does not prejudge the outcome of an investigation.”
Last year, Apple was accused of unfairly penalizing rival music streaming services. Timmy Cook better watch it as the EU has the ability to levy fines up to 10% of Apple’s global revenue as well as force changes to the company’s business practices.
The EU is leading the way in attempts to rein in the power of Big Tech companies. In the past weeks alone, the bloc has passed two major bills intended to counter the negative effects of these companies.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) - Forces companies to take tighter control of harmful content on their platforms.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) - Intended to level the business playing field, allowing smaller companies to compete with the largest corporations.
Objections to a number of the limitations outlined by the EU have been a common ground for Apple and many other Big Tech companies.