The Cupertino tech giant might be facing another anti-trust investigation but over Apple Pay this time. Bloomberg reports that on Friday, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets began an investigation into payment apps’ access to near-field communication (NFC) “which allows people to wave their phones at payment terminals to make purchases.”
Although the authority did not make Apple, it expressed concerns that “the software on some smartphones only allows the software developer’s own payment app to connect to NFC communication.”
Users can use Apple Pay on all Apple devices by adding their debit and credit cards on the iPhone via the Wallet app and on iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac via Settings app > Wallet & Apple Pay. It can be used to make contact-less in stores, in-apps, and online purchases. Users can also send or receive cash via iMessage.
Dutch regulators probing payment apps like Apple Pay
Currently, Apple only allows NFC payments via Apple Pay on the iPhone and Apple Watch and does not allow other banks to provide the NFC payment capability via their own apps. Therefore the report states that,
The Dutch authority “will investigate whether limiting the payment apps’ access to NFC communication reduces the users’ freedom of choice. If it “does establish a violation, it may result in a penalty, such as a fine.”
In its defense, Apple says that,
It “designed Apple Pay as a simple and secure way for customers to use the payment card of their choice on their Apple devices.”
It competes every day, “working with banks, fintechs and merchants to be the best payment option for business and consumers across the Netherlands.”
While the iPhone maker was working diligently to give consumers new and innovative products and services in a pandemic, it was also facing several anti-trust investigations in various parts of the world. In the hope to contain, Silicon Valley tech giants’ power over limiting users’ choices for personal benefits, regulators scrutinized Apple for its App Store policy and practices.
Apple categorically denies all accusations of anti-competitive behavior and maintains that,
We are in very very competitive markets like smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets and personal computers. These things are fiercely competitive, they are basically street fights for market share everyday and our core strategy as a company is to make the best, not the most. That basic strategy will never produce a monopoly because it is very rare for the best to become the most as well. some one will choose the commodity product and people will buy the commodity porduct that it will have more share.
That is true for all the different fields we are in, I am hoping that people heard that and heard how we conduct our selves because it is very important to use for we always do what we believe is right and conduct ourselves with integrity and professionalism. I hope that came across and that we can unpeel from the investigation.”
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