The EU is reportedly set to charge Apple for being anti-competitive due to locking down how its NFC technology can be used.
EU antitrust regulators opened an investigation into Apple Pay in June last year over concerns that it unfairly shuts out competitors and gives Apple’s own service an advantage.
According to Reuters’ sources, the EU is currently drafting objections which are due to be sent to Apple next year.
Apple takes a notoriously “walled garden” approach to its ecosystem which, given its dominant market position, is ripe for anti-competition claims. Such claims have increased in recent years with the Cupertino-based firm battling various cases across many countries and regions.
For its part, Apple argues that it takes a strict approach to how its devices are used to protect users. Apple’s key rival, Google, tends to come under less scrutiny from antitrust regulators due to taking a more open approach to Android.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager in New York last week. Vestager is in New York for the UN General Assembly but it seems Cook may have wanted to take the opportunity to discuss some matters.
A meeting between Cook and Vestager hasn’t been confirmed but Cook has been tweeting that he’s in the, ahem, Big Apple:
While the EU formally launched its investigation in June 2020, the regulator first received complaints from competitors about Apple Pay in 2019.
The regulator reached out to impacted parties and asked whether there were contractual obligations to enable particular payment methods and if apps were being rejected for failing to comply with Apple Pay rules.
If the regulator finds Apple guilty, the company may be forced to open up its payment system.
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