What you need to know
- The Netherlands has launched an antitrust investigation into Apple.
- The investigation focuses on the potentially uncompetitive nature of Apple Pay.
Reported by Bloomberg, Dutch antitrust regulators are investigating companies like Apple over its technology restrictions with payment systems like Apple Pay.
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets did not name Apple directly but the investigation is based on concerns that "the software on some smartphones only allows the software developer's own payment app to connect to NFC communication."
Since its inclusion in the iPhone and Apple Watch, the NFC chip has been reserved for Apple Pay and blocked from any other app using it. The investigation's goal is to determine if app's lack of access to the functionality has a tangible impact on a user's "freedom of choice."
In response to a request for comment, Apple simply said that the company "designed Apple Pay as a simple and secure way for customers to use the payment card of their choice on their Apple devices ... (We are) working with banks, fintechs and merchants to be the best payment option for business and consumers across the Netherlands."
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
So what? I can have Apple Pay tied to any Credit/Debit card I want. (I imagine that is dependent on the card somewhat, but mine all work). Do I really need Google Pay and Samsung Pay to work on my iPhone?
I don't think their point is about specifically Google Pay or Samsung Pay, but that any app is unable to access the NFC chip. Near-field communication can be handy for multiple things and NFC is a standard, so I understand why there is a concern about Apple not allowing access for anyone else but itself. I think many were thinking it would have opened up by now, but it's unclear why it's still shut off.
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