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Apple Pay and Wallet is next on the EU’s competition hit list

The European Union is continuing its efforts to force tech giants to allow greater competition of services on their platforms and this time Apple Pay is in the firing line.

The EU Commission believes Apple should allow other mobile payment providers to set up shop within the Apple Wallet app, and the way it’s going, the company might be forced to.

In its preliminary view, the regulator say Apple has “abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices.”

It says that “by limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores … or ‘tap and go’), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.”

It says Apple’s position benefits its own Apple Pay contactless payment platform by restricting access from competing services like Google Pay or Samsung Pay, for instance.

Should the preliminary view be played out in a full investigation, the EU would consider Apple to be in violation of competition rules.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “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.”

The investigation will now follow into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The EU already wants iMessage to be interoperable with other apps, for the Lightning port to be ditched for USB-C, and for the so-called “Apple tax” on the App Store to be eradicated.

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