The European Commission (EC) did not find Apple’s mobile payment service to be market dominant, but if it receives official complaints it may delve deeper into the issue, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager told Reuters.
Some observers have noted the NFC chip embedded in iPhones automatically chooses Apple Pay when a consumer uses the device to make a purchase, which can hinder competing payment methods. The Danish Competition Authority is currently probing this.
Apple Pay launched in October 2014 and is now available in ten EU countries including France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Denmark. The service was launched in Germany today (11 December).
Vestager explained the EC initially “couldn’t see Apple being dominant” and had found insufficient evident to open an investigation. But, she added: “That doesn’t exclude in the future that we will have a second look.”
“Obviously if we had official complaints, we would take that seriously because the entire payment market is very important.”
Vestager recently asked Google’s rivals if the search giant demotes local search competitors, which could result in a fourth antitrust case against the company.
“Now we ask questions when it comes to local search…It could be (a fourth case against Google) but of course we start asking questions without prejudice”.