EU antitrust regulators start Apple Pay inquiry

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Norwegian Apple Pay
Apple Pay is available in many European countries, including Norway.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pay, the iPhone’s built-in payment system, is reportedly in the sights of EU investigators. They are looking into whether Apple is giving its system an unfair advantage over competitors.

Investigating whether to investigate

EU antitrust investigators to sent a questionnaire to banks and developers of rival payment systems about Apple Pay. This asks whether the iPhone maker urges users toward its payment system over rivals.

A European Commission spokesperson told MLex that it’a looking into “possible anti-competitive market practices and abusive conduct.”

European regulators have had their eye on Apple for some time. This spring, the EC started a separate formal investigation into the App Store, probing whether Apple uses it to squeeze out competition.

Banking on Apple Pay

A potential area for investigation is a limitation built into iPhones. Apple Pay uses iOS handset’s NFC (Near Field Communications) capabilities to make transactions with stores’ point of sale machines. Apple’s is the only payment system with access to this NFC capability.

In the past, Apple has said this restriction safeguards mobile payments. Hacking its system is much more difficult if only Apple software can use it.

Source: MLex Market Insight