The European Union sent Apple a formal “statement of objections” with the preliminary opinion that Apple abused its dominant position in mobile wallets on iOSand it is that their iPhone mobile devices only have the Apple Pay payment gateway to make payments in the real world through the use of NFC, being impossible to use another application to pay in a physical establishment with our debit or credit card embedded in the device.
“The Commission opposes Apple’s decision to block developers of mobile wallet applications from accessing the necessary hardware and software (“NFC input”) on their devices, in favor of its own solution, Apple Pay,” the decision reads.
“Today’s Statement of Objections only questions access to the NFC Gateway by third-party developers of mobile wallets for in-store payments.”
According to the EU, Apple’s exclusionary behavior “leads to less innovation and fewer options for consumers when it comes to mobile wallets on iPhone“.
This is only the first formal step antitrust proceedings against Apple, and the company will have the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s list of objections. The EU recalls that the sending of a Statement of Objections “does not prejudge the outcome of an investigation“.
“Apple Pay is just one of many options available to European consumers to make payments, and has ensured equal access to NFC while setting industry-leading standards for privacy and security,” said said Apple Pay. Apple, Hannah Smith, in a statement to The Edge.
“We will continue to work with the Commission to ensure that European consumers have access to the payment option of their choice in a secure environment.”
The decision follows allegations last year that the company was unfairly penalizing competing music streaming services. The EU has the power to impose fines of up to 10% of Apple’s worldwide turnover ($36 billion), as well as to force changes in the company’s business practices. In practice, however, the fines against Apple’s likely appeal of the charges will be much lower. We’ll have to wait to find out what will happen, but the logical thing is that Apple eventually makes iOS more open in this regard.