The European Commission is preparing to file an antitrust charge against Apple over the company’s limitation of access to its NFC chip technology, “people familiar with the matter” have told Reuters.
The Commission opened a formal antitrust investigation into Apple’s practices in connection with Apple Pay — including whether the company’s limitation of access to the NFC functionality on iPhones for payments in stores — violate European Union competition rules in June 2020.
“The European Commission has since narrowed its focus to just the NFC chip, which can only be accessed by Apple Pay, one of the sources said,” according to Reuters.
“The EU competition enforcer is now preparing a charge sheet known as a statement of objections, which could be sent to Apple next year, one of the sources said.
“Such documents typically set out practices considered anti-competitive by the regulator.
“The Commission, which has three other cases against Apple, declined to comment.
“It can fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover for violating EU rules, which based on Apple’s 2020 revenue could come to US$27.4bn.”
An Australian parliamentary committee is also investigating possible changes to the country’s regulatory framework for digital payments and held a public hearing on issues including whether companies such as Apple should be mandated to allow third-party payment apps access to a smartphone’s NFC chip in July.