THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) once again has Apple in its sights and is this time probing whether the Apple Pay is squeezing third-party firms out of the mobile payments market.
The watchdog's biggest concern relates to Apple's proprietary Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip, according to a report in MLex, which Apple Pay relies on to enable users to pay at stores by just holding their phones near a card reader.
However, Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, said last year that she was Vaware of reports that Apple was limiting the use of the NFC chip to only cards included in Apple Wallet, noting that no such restrictions on NFC permissions for cards or banking apps exist on Android.
In an attempt to gather more information prior to the launch of a formal investigation, EU antitrust investigators have reportedly begun asking developers and payment companies for feedback on Apple Pay.
One set of questions sent in September focused on how Apple directs users making an in-app purchase on their iPhone toward Apple Pay, over other payment methods.
Apple, which last year settled an NFC-related spat with Swiss payment company TWINT, has long argued that limiting access to the NFC chip provides tighter security, and claims this one of the reasons consumers choose Apple Pay in the first place.
It also says that payment providers can access iPhone users using alternative technologies, like QR codes, which once scanned can trigger a payment.
An EC spokesperson, without naming names, told MLex that the regulator was monitoring "possible anticompetitive market practices and abusive conduct."
"In this context, the Commission is actively monitoring the development of mobile payment solutions, the behaviour by operators active in the payments sector, including mobile payments," they added. µ
But eager game streaming beavers will have to wait until 2020
No sex please, we're priggish
But EU'd need to have a compromised handset to be at risk
Openreach or overreach?