Apple PaySource: iMore

What you need to know

  • A law passed overnight in Germany could force Apple to open up Apple pay to its rivals.
  • The law was added as an amendment to a bill regarding anti-money laundering measures.
  • Apple says the law could harm user-friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information

An amendment to a German anti-money laundering law voted on overnight on Thursday, November 14, could force Apple to open up Apple Pay to rival mobile payment services.

As reported by Reuters:

A German parliamentary committee unexpectedly voted in a late-night session on Wednesday to force the tech giant to open up Apple Pay to rival providers in Germany.

This came in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that was adopted late on Thursday by the full parliament and is set to come into effect early next year.

The legislation, which did not name Apple specifically, will force operators of electronic money infrastructure to offer access to rivals for a reasonable fee.

According to the report, the law shows Germany's desire to bring tighter regulation to U.S. tech companies operating on its soil. The report also notes that Apple seems to be alarmed by the decision:

"We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced," Apple said on Friday. "We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user-friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information."

Reuters suggests that Chancellor Angela Merkel's office had pushed for the committee to withdraw the amendment unsuccessfully, which could suggest it did not have her backing.

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Apple is already under scrutiny from an EU antitrust regulator over concerns about anitcompetitive practices relating to Apple Pay. It seems that the law remains in a draft form at this stage, but if successfully passed other EU countries may be encouraged to follow suit. The change may mean that Apple is forced to give users an option (at least in Germany) as to which mobile payment service they would like their iPhone to use when the NFC chip is activated.