EU opens antitrust probes into Apple Pay and App Store

LONDON (AP) — European Union (EU) authorities have opened antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and its payments platform over concerns that its practices stifle competition.

The EU’s executive Commission said it launched a formal investigation of Apple Pay over allegations that the United State (US) tech giant refuses access to the payment system in some cases and concerns that it limits access to the “tap and go” function on iPhones.

The Commission opened a second investigation into the mobile App Store over concerns that Apple restricts developers from letting iPhone and iPad users know about ways to make purchases outside of apps.

EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said “it appears that Apple obtained a ‘gatekeeper’ role when it comes to the distribution of apps and content to users of Apple’s popular devices.”

It also appeared that Apple set conditions on how Apple Pay should be used in merchants’ apps and websites, she said. “It is important that Apple’s measures do not deny consumers the benefits of new payment technologies,” she said.