On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Apple will argue its antitrust case against Apple Pay at the EU Commission. According to Reuters, the tech giant will try to convince EU regulators that it does not stop third-party digital wallet providers from using its near-field communication (NFC) technology.
The Cupertino tech giant launched its contactless mobile payment service “Apple Pay” in 2015. Powered by the near-field communication chip in compatible iPhone models, the wireless service allows users to store their debit and credit cards in the Wallet app and pay quickly with a single tap of their iPhone or Apple Watch.
However, the EU launched an investigation against the tech giant’s iOS App Store and its Apple Pay in 2020 and claimed that Apple’s restrictions and conditions might be anti-competitive in many ways. Last year, the antitrust body officially charged the company with “unfairly” restricting access to Apple Pay on iPhone to third-party payment services providers like PayPal and Venmo and sent it the ‘Statment of Objections’.
Threat of a $40 billion fine hangs over Apple for alleged anti-competitive Apple Pay practices
The report details that the upcoming closed hearing will be attended by senior European Commission and national competition officials and Apple executives. The tech company will try to convince the regulators that its practices are not anti-competitive to avert a huge $40 billion fine.
The company could face fines of up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of antitrust violations. It is also the target of EU charges of abusing its dominance in the music streaming market in a case triggered by a complaint by Spotify (SPOT.N). There is no EU decision yet on that case.
Apple referred to its statement last year which said that Apple Pay is only one of many options available to European consumers and which has ensured equal access to its tap and go technology Near-Field Communication (NFC).
The company is going to launch the service in South Korea and currently, is testing a new “Apple Pay Later” service at its retail stores in the United States which will allow users to pay for a product in four equal payments over six weeks time with no interest or other hidden fees.