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European Union charges Apple for keeping rivals away from its pay tech

Apple could face a fine up to 10 per cent of its global turnover or $36.6 billion based on its revenue last year, though EU penalties rarely reach the cap

Topics
Apple Pay | European Union | Apple

Bloomberg &  Reuters 

Margrethe Vestager
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Apple unfairly shielded its Apple Pay wallets from competition

was hit by a formal antitrust complaint from the for restricting access to technology and services that allow users to make payments direct from their iPhone.

could face a fine up to 10 per cent of its global turnover or $36.6 billion based on its revenue last year, though EU penalties rarely reach the cap.

The European Commission said on Monday it sent a so-called statement of objections alleging how the tech giant abuses its dominance over mobile wallets on its devices via its Pay service.

“We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple’s devices,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. The EU’s charge sheet makes a preliminary finding that the company “may have restricted competition, to the benefit of its own solution.”

chart

The probe was part of two cases the European Commission opened in June 2020 amid efforts by Vestager to rein in powerful big technology . It follows the EU’s decision in 2016 to hit Apple with a record 13 billion-euro ($13.7 billion) tax bill, which is subject to a pending court case following the company’s successful appeal at a lower EU court.

Apple argued that its approach might anger big banks in Europe, some of whom have sought better deals to access . Apple says that it gives all banks equal access to the payment system, with 2,500 banks in Europe connected, as well as smaller fintech and challenger banks.

“We designed to provide an easy and secure way for users to digitally present their existing payment cards and for banks and other financial institutions to offer contactless payments for their customers,” Apple said in a statement, saying it will “continue to engage with the commission”. Bloomberg & Reuters

attacks EU for ‘criminal’ treatment

lashed out at the EU for doling out a “quasi-criminal fine of very large proportions” for allegedly thwarting advertising rivals on websites. At a hearing at the bloc’s General Court on Monday, the search giant said the 2019 decision by the EU’s antitrust arm to issue the 1.49 billion-euro ($1.6 billion) fine was riddled with errors. Bloomberg

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First Published: Mon, May 02 2022. 22:29 IST
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