Over the past few years, Apple Pay has become one of the key mobile payment solutions in the world. Also, Apple Pay is by far the largest payment solution available on iOS. In order to promote Apple Pay, Apple restricted NFC access to 3rd party applications.
The European Commission was investigating whether Apple was really using its dominant position to promote its own payment solution. Today, the EC informed Apple about its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. NFC is standardized, available in almost all payment terminals in stores and allows for easy mobile payments. By reserving access to NFC to Apple Pay, Apple has prevented 3rd party payment providers from offering easy mobile payments.
“Mobile payments play a rapidly growing role in our digital economy. It is important for the integration of European Payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative payments landscape. We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices. In our Statement of Objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution Apple Pay. If confirmed, such a conduct would be illegal under our competition rules,” Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.