The European Union is pushing back against Apple over its tap-to-pay Apple Pay platform with growing vigor. According to a recent Bloomberg story, European Union antitrust authorities are intensifying their investigation of Apple Pay after requesting more evidence from merchants regarding the availability and use of mobile payment methods.
The European Union stated almost precisely a year ago that, in its initial opinion, Apple had exploited its dominant market position by limiting access to the iPhone’s NFC chip for mobile payment services. According to the EU, this limits the ability of alternative payment platforms to rival Apple, offering customers fewer options.
The QR code-based mobile payment services have frequently faced resistance from customers. For instance, the grocery retailer Kroger recently switched to Apple Pay from its QR code-based “Kroger Pay” program. Despite objections from customers, Walmart continues to promote its QR code payment method in place of that service.
Apple claims that allowing other businesses to use the NFC chip for payment technologies would raise security and privacy issues. It goes without saying that this is only one of many antitrust probes Apple is dealing with in the European Union, along with allegations that it unjustly favored Apple Music over competitors and a number of allegations regarding the App Store.