European regulators filed a formal antitrust complaint against Apple, arguing that Apple’s wallet does not allow for ample competition on Apple devices. Stephanie Bodoni and Jillian Deutsch offer full details on Bloomberg:
“The decision to ramp up its probe comes weeks after the EU approved sweeping new rules to rein in how U.S. tech firms operate in the region. The measures, designed to work alongside traditional antitrust powers, aim to prevent firms from abusing their power as gatekeepers to digital technology.”
Apple responded by detailing its ability to connect a plethora of banks, fintech platforms, and other financial services within their wallet.
“Apple argued that its approach might anger big banks in Europe, some of whom have sought better deals to access Apple Pay. Apple says that it gives all banks equal access to the payment system, with 2,500 banks in Europe connected, as well as smaller fintech companies and challenger banks.
‘We designed Apple Pay to provide an easy and secure way for users to digitally present their existing payment cards and for banks and other financial institutions to offer contactless payments for their customers,’ Apple said in a statement, saying it will ‘continue to engage with the commission to ensure European consumers have access to the payment option of their choice in a safe and secure environment.’”
Despite the move from the EU, look for formal proceedings to take years to resolve, as indicated by the EU’s 2016 $13.7 Billion tax fine that is still pending appeal in European courts.
Overview by Jordan Hirschfield, Director of Research at Mercator Advisory Group