Apple faces scrutiny from Dutch antitrust regulators who are probing whether Apple Pay users get a free choice of financial apps with contactless payments.
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets said on Friday it started an investigation into payment apps’ access to near-field communication, which allows people to wave their phones at payment terminals to make purchases.
While the regulator didn’t name Apple, it cited concerns that “the software on some smartphones only allows the software developer’s own payment app to connect to NFC communication.”
At present, iPhone and Apple Watch users can only make NFC payments using Apple Pay. Banks and other competitors have complained that they want the same functionality for their own iPhone apps but that Apple refuses access to the chip.
The Dutch authority “will investigate whether limiting the payment apps’ access to NFC communication reduces the users’ freedom of choice,” it said. If it “does establish a violation, it may result in a penalty, such as a fine.”
MacDailyNews Take: Making the NFC chip in Apple devices insecure doesn’t increase competition. There are not antitrust issues. Apple competes with contactless payments every day, everywhere Apple Pay is available.