In 2015, Apple launched its iOS mobile payment app, Wallet, with a proprietary solution, Apple Pay, using the NFC chip in Apple’s mobile devices.
Since then, Apple has prevented developers of third-party payment solutions from using the NFC chip in an iPhone or iPad. On 3 May 2022, the European Commission said it was launching an investigation into this distortion of competition, accusing Apple of abuse of its dominant position in mobile payments.
“Apple has built a closed ecosystem around its devices and its operating system, iOS. And Apple controls the gates to this ecosystem, setting the rules of the game for anyone who wants to reach consumers using Apple devices,” accuses Competition Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.
“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 payment landscape,” she added.
Margrethe Vestager also believes that the specific case of Apple Pay may set a precedent for how the Digital Markets Act (DMA), adopted in March 2022, will provide an “effective and proportionate access to NFC for mobile payments.”