The European Commission has sent a “Statement of Objections” to Apple over its alleged anti-competitive practices regarding NFC input for payments. In the statement, the EU notes that it takes issue with Apple’s decision to prevent third-party apps from accessing NFC input for contactless payments on its devices.
As per the statement, the European Commission has “informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores (‘Near-Field Communication (NFC)’ or ‘tap and go’), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.”
The EU further adds that Apple’s decision to limit access to NFC for contactless payments benefits its own mobile payments solution, Apple Pay, and has an exclusionary effect on competitors that “leads to less innovation and less choice for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones.”
It’s worth noting that the EU’s statement only marks the initial, formal state of anti-trust proceedings against Apple. Apple still has a chance to respond to the EU’s allegations, either in writing or in a hearing before representatives of the Commission and national competition authorities.
The EU has also clarified that this Statement of Objections does not “take issue with the online restrictions nor the alleged refusals of access to Apple Pay for specific products of rivals that the Commission announced that it had concerns when it opened the in-depth investigation into Apple’s practices regarding Apple Pay on 16 June 2020.”
The EU’s statement comes just a few months after Apple announced new functionality for its Tap to Pay feature that will let iPhone users accept contactless payments in the US.
Should Apple be forced to give third-party payments apps access to NFC input for contactless payments on iPhones? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: European Commission