The European Union has charged Apple with antitrust violations for excluding competitors from its Apple Pay mobile payment system.
The EU has issued a formal “Statement of Objections” to Apple, claiming that the company has misused its dominant position in mobile wallets on iOS.
“The Commission takes issue with Apple’s decision to block mobile wallet app providers from accessing the essential hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices in order to benefit its own solution, Apple Pay, the ruling states”.
“Today’s Statement of Objections addresses exclusively the use of NFC input by third-party developers of mobile wallets for in-store payments.”
This is merely the first, official step of Apple’s antitrust proceedings, and the corporation will have the opportunity to react to the Commission’s list of complaints.
The EU emphasizes that filing a Statement of Objections “does not prejudge the result of an inquiry.”
The decision today comes after claims last year that the firm unjustly penalizes competitor music streaming services.
The European Union has the authority to issue fines of up to 10% of Apple’s global turnover ($36 billion) and to compel the corporation to modify its business practices. In practice, though, any fines imposed in response to Apple’s probable appeal of the allegations will be substantially lower.
The Commission’s preliminary opinion against Apple demonstrates that the EU is once again leading the way in efforts to limit Big Tech’s dominance.
However, In recent weeks, the EU has enacted two important legislative acts aimed at mitigating the detrimental consequences of digital behemoths.
These include the Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires firms to tighten control over harmful information on their platforms, and the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to level the playing field by allowing smaller businesses to compete with the larger enterprises.
Apple has opposed a number of EU requirements, notably those that weaken the company’s control over the App Store (from which Apple collects significant revenue).