Another Day another EU Investigation into Apple's Business Practices. This time it's about the Restrictive Nature of Apple Pay
The European Commission says it is taking a look at antitrust concerns involving Apple Pay, the digital payment tool for iPhones, according to the Financial Times.
The commission said it had sent requests for information to 'market participants' seeking feedback on the concerns, which include allegations that the Wallet app on the iPhone refuses to carry rival payment methods.
Online-payment providers, banks and app businesses received questionnaires from Brussels last month after rivals asked the commission to investigate how the iPhone prompts users to use Apple Pay, according to a report in the trade publication MLex.
Apple’s cashless payments tool works within the Wallet app, which comes pre-installed on iPhones. Digital payment rivals have voiced concerns that Apple has an inherent advantage and has leveraged it by blocking most rivals from accessing the iPhone’s near-field communication chip — or NFC — which makes cashless payments possible.
Users of the iPhone are prompted to sign up for Apple Pay by entering their credit card details. When a user skips this step, an iPhone or iPad permanently shows a red-coloured alert to tell users they have not finished setting up their product.
Apple declined to comment, but it has previously said it limits others from using NFC to protect users’ privacy and security. For more on this read the full Financial Times report here.
The MLex report noted that other objections raised to investigators in Brussels relate to Apple’s alleged refusal to carry competing payment methods in its wallet.
Apple has in the past defended restricting access to the NFC chip as a way of ensuring maximum confidentiality for sensitive banking data. The increased security of Apple’s payment system is said to be one of its attractions for consumers. For more on this, read the full MLex report.