Restricting access for rivals to its technology has landed Apple with a hefty fine by the European Union antitrust regulators arguing it needs to open up the mobile payment system to other players too in the market.
Apple was similarly charged by the EU regulators in 2021 for distorting competition and a complaint was lodged by Spotify after facing a related problem in the music streaming market.
Meanwhile, the European Commission said to have sent a statement of objections to the iPhone maker containing details of the way it had abused its position in the markets when the Apple Pay was released in 2015.
Margrethe Vestager, antitrust chief of the EU, said the tech giant restricted access of third-party to its key technology that was required in developing mobile wallet solutions on its devices. The competition may have been restricted to benefit Apple Pay.
The company may be fined to the extent of 10 percent of its total turnover or it could be about $36.6 billion which is based on the revenue of 2021.
Meanwhile, Apple said that there are several options of payment systems available for the customers in the region and Apple Pay is just one of these. The company has ensured access to NFC abreast of setting up industry standards security and privacy.
The news of the hefty fine left the investors with low confidence in the company and shares dropped immediately by about 0.7 percent.
At least 2,500 European banks use Apple Pay apart from more than 250 challenger banks. The payment method is simple and requires just a tap on iPads and iPhones as the devices are enabled with NFC chips.
It is learned that the smartphone giant may seek a closed-door hearing that may take a longer time of about a year or so.