EU regulators ramp up probe into NFC tech at core of Apple Pay

Posted:
in iPhone
European Union officials continue to scrutinize Apple for its restrictions on the NFC antenna used for Apple Pay, a practice the European Commission dubbed anti-competitive.

Apple Pay
Apple Pay


The European Commission, which oversees antitrust laws in the EU, has accused Apple of engaging in anticompetitive behavior since the launch of Apple Pay in 2015. Officials are concerned that Apple's limiting the iPhone's built-in NFC chip to Apple Pay makes it impossible for third-party companies to break into the mobile payment market.

Bloomberg has learned that the EU is currently exploring other payment options for mobile devices, such as QR codes and Bluetooth technologies, as alternatives to Apple's NFC chip.

The EU is not the first governmental agency to take issue with Apple's handling of the NFC on the device. Shortly after its launch, a group of prominent Australian banks attempted to boycott Apple Pay to negotiate access to the NFC hardware within Apple devices for third-party use.

However, the banks eventually backed down after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission denied their boycott request in 2017.

This entire saga began in 2019. Four years ago, EU investigators requested feedback from payment companies regarding Apple Pay. They were concerned that Apple's decision to restrict the iPhone's NFC chip to only work with Apple Pay would prevent other companies from entering the mobile payment market.

Apple Pay is not the dominant mobile payment service in the EU, nor does Apple hold the majority of the smartphone sales.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    Busybodies!
    Anilu_777pulseimages
  • Reply 2 of 39
    Talk about administrative state on steroids!
  • Reply 3 of 39
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 124member
    Good, atleast EU has the balls to hold Apple accountable. This is anti-competitive behaviour at the least
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 39
    personperson Posts: 31member
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Anilu_777headfull0winepulseimagessphericS8ER95Z
  • Reply 5 of 39
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,311member
    There is the Government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong yet again.  No one if forced to use Apple Pay.  There is Android Pay and Samsung Pay and Garmon Pay and on and on.  Let alone QR Codes and other methods.  I use PayPal a lot of the time.  

    Apple only has a small percentage of the market in the EU anyway.  It's mostly Android.  Talking about a lock in the marketplace by Google!!!!  Google can spy on people world wide.

    Android has double the market share of iOS. in the EU.  If you don't like what Apple does, you are free to buy any other phone.YOu can buy a Google phone, a Samsung phone or a dozen other Android phones.  Why doesn't any company in the EU develop its own OS and phone to sell in the market?  Because the EU and their laws make developing anything there to costly for most all companies there.  Just like with Game Consoles.  Where are they?  Not a one developed in the EU.  Then they go crying about it.  
    Anilu_777olivertwistradarthekatKTRS8ER95Z
  • Reply 6 of 39
    person said:
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Yes, they do. Do some research, please. 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 39
    lam92103 said:
    Good, atleast EU has the balls to hold Apple accountable. This is anti-competitive behaviour at the least
    No, it’s not. Other companies are free to make their own platforms (which they have) and cut deals with other device makers that have substantial market share.

    This is a case of the middle men (banks and the credit monopolies MC/VS/Disc) not wanting to give up their power.

    Do some bloody research before embarrassing yourself.
    FileMakerFellerAnilu_777radarthekatpulseimageswilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 39
    lam92103 said:
    Good, atleast EU has the balls to hold Apple accountable. This is anti-competitive behaviour at the least
    No, it’s not. Other companies are free to make their own platforms (which they have) and cut deals with other device makers that have substantial market share.

    This is a case of the middle men (banks and the credit monopolies MC/VS/Disc) not wanting to give up their power.

    Do some bloody research before embarrassing yourself.
    It's also about Apple wanting to control the public perception of the iPhone. I wouldn't be surprised if the company has spent north of $500m developing and maintaining the NFC and payments system; they're certain it's as secure as it can possibly be and they don't want to risk that certainty by exposing it to third parties who probably don't have the same technical expertise or corporate dedication to excellence. From Apple's point of view it makes sense for others to leverage the infrastructure Apple have put in place and to pay a relatively small fee for access.

    From the third parties' point of view they're looking to behave the same way as Apple and control anything they rely on for their business. For them, this is pretty much an existential fight.

    Apple has deeper pockets than any individual bank and the advantage of being the first party provider. Since Apple is not a majority provider in the market, they're safe from antitrust regulation - for now. I expect Apple to win, and we have to hope that Apple will continue to be a benevolent overlord and not exploit any monopoly that eventuates.
    applebynature
  • Reply 9 of 39
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 525member
    Any bank can attach their cards to Apple Pay and it works. What is their problem? They’re getting the free ride as Apple is the one developing Apple Pay and making sure it’s secure. 
  • Reply 10 of 39
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member
    Anilu_777 said:
    Any bank can attach their cards to Apple Pay and it works. What is their problem? They’re getting the free ride as Apple is the one developing Apple Pay and making sure it’s secure. 
    It’s definitely not a free ride.
    sphericwilliamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 39
    jbdragon said:
    There is the Government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong yet again.  No one if forced to use Apple Pay.  There is Android Pay and Samsung Pay and Garmon Pay and on and on.  Let alone QR Codes and other methods.  I use PayPal a lot of the time.  

    Apple only has a small percentage of the market in the EU anyway.  It's mostly Android.  Talking about a lock in the marketplace by Google!!!!  Google can spy on people world wide.

    Android has double the market share of iOS. in the EU.  If you don't like what Apple does, you are free to buy any other phone.YOu can buy a Google phone, a Samsung phone or a dozen other Android phones.  Why doesn't any company in the EU develop its own OS and phone to sell in the market?  Because the EU and their laws make developing anything there to costly for most all companies there.  Just like with Game Consoles.  Where are they?  Not a one developed in the EU.  Then they go crying about it.  

    This is the BEST explanation! Who remembers the fiasco with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari? That was colossal waste of taxpayer's money and massive ridicule for the EC. Nothing new...

    To put things in perspectives, Margrete Vestager, a Danish vice president of European Commission (EC) department responsible for the "fair (sic) competition practice in the digital age", has always gone after Apple and other foreign corporations whose European headquarters are in Ireland (for the corporate tax advantage). She was quite bitter about how the corporate tax agreement between Apple and Irish government subsequently went sideways.

    Interestingly enough, Mr Juncker, the former EC president and her mentor, had negotiated with several foreign corporations to establish their European headquarters in Luxembourg prior to his stint as the EC president. Ms Vestager would not go after the Luxembourg-based corporations because of Mr Juncker. So, that's "fair competition practice in the digital age".

    The bottom line: let the consumers vote with their wallets what sort of technology they want.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 39
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,308member
    I’m glad Apple is resisting. 
    If they were forced to break it open I fear hackers would figure out how to reverse engineer the system to keep your payment cards on the device and fraud would be more
    rampant than it is now. 

    Just look at some of the devices that are
    coming that can be used this way. 

    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 39
    person said:
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Yes, they do. Do some research, please. 
    Not in the way he meant. I.e. loading multiple Banks on another Banks card. Granted, the issue is different but the effect for the customer is a wallet full of different cards/ phones. 🤣
    pulseimages
  • Reply 14 of 39
    person said:
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Yes, they do. Do some research, please. 
    I worked in a Canadian bank for 17 years. There’s no way they’d let the NFC chip on their Visa card put a transaction through for another Bank’s Visa. 

    Apple does allow this. But it’s only under  their terms, with their privacy and security model. And yes, they take a commission for it and don’t pass personal information about the transaction back to the bank. Good! That’s how I, the customer, want it.  And that’s why I chose to set up my card in Apple Pay. And my bank is still making a ton of money from it. I am the customer to the merchant, the bank, and Apple. I WANT it this way. 
    sphericS8ER95Zcaladanianwilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 39
    pulseimagespulseimages Posts: 596member
    person said:
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Yes, they do. Do some research, please. 
    Quit being a snot, please. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 39
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,554member
    jbdragon said:
    There is the Government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong yet again.  No one if forced to use Apple Pay.  There is Android Pay and Samsung Pay and Garmon Pay and on and on.  Let alone QR Codes and other methods.  I use PayPal a lot of the time.  

    Apple only has a small percentage of the market in the EU anyway.  It's mostly Android.  Talking about a lock in the marketplace by Google!!!!  Google can spy on people world wide.
    Not arguing your conclusions, but the basic premise is flawed: 

    Apple currently has about 1/3 of the market share. That's not "small" by any measure. 

    Usage share is considerably higher, since iPhones tend to remain in use much longer than Android. 

    Apple is absolutely a major player in the EU. 

    jbdragon said:
    Why doesn't any company in the EU develop its own OS and phone to sell in the market?  Because the EU and their laws make developing anything there to costly for most all companies there. 
    You're not old enough to remember Nokia, are you. 


    edited May 2023 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 39
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,554member
    olivertwist said:
     Who remembers the fiasco with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari? That was colossal waste of taxpayer's money and massive ridicule for the EC. Nothing new…
    What "fiasco" are you referring to?
  • Reply 18 of 39
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,655member
    person said:
    Do credit card companies make it so you can use the nfc chips in their cards work with other companies?
    I think not
    Yes, they do. Do some research, please. 
    I worked in a Canadian bank for 17 years. There’s no way they’d let the NFC chip on their Visa card put a transaction through for another Bank’s Visa. 

    Apple does allow this. But it’s only under  their terms, with their privacy and security model. And yes, they take a commission for it and don’t pass personal information about the transaction back to the bank. Good! That’s how I, the customer, want it.  And that’s why I chose to set up my card in Apple Pay. And my bank is still making a ton of money from it. I am the customer to the merchant, the bank, and Apple. I WANT it this way. 
    It's fine that you WANT it that way but it isn't fine that that gets applied to everyone.

    My wife doesn't want it that way. She wants to use her bank card through her bank's wallet system just like I do on my Android phone. 

    She can't because Apple doesn't allow it. 

    IMO, Apple should make its NFC setup available to banking institutions, inform users of what the options are and let consumers decide. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 39
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 187member
    lam92103 said:
    Good, atleast EU has the balls to hold Apple accountable. This is anti-competitive behaviour at the least
    No, it’s not. Other companies are free to make their own platforms (which they have) and cut deals with other device makers that have substantial market share.

    This is a case of the middle men (banks and the credit monopolies MC/VS/Disc) not wanting to give up their power.

    Do some bloody research before embarrassing yourself.
    Their own platform that doesn’t play nicely with others? What does the owner of the device benefit from that? No, let the use of any computer use them how they want.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 39
    riverkoriverko Posts: 222member
    How about this - Apple Pay supports competition. In one wallet you have many cards of various banks. Before paying you open the wallet and decide which card to use as you see them all. If each bank had it’s own app, you would have to have installed and activated each app separatelly and than before paying decide, which of these apps to log in. Means that would require to be online on data to let it work… with Apple Pay you may use the card without having data on - so on travels in roaming where you may not want to use the data…
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