People familiar with the matter said that Apple will be hit by EU antitrust allegations due to its NFC chip technology, which may put it at risk of huge fines and may force it to its mobile payment system to competitors.

Since her investigation into Apple Pay last June, the iPhone maker has been the target of Margrethe Vestager, the head of EU antitrust.

The initial concern is that Apple’s NFC chip can enable one- payments on iPhones, its terms and conditions on how the mobile payment service Apple Pay should be used in merchants’ applications and websites, and the company’s refusal to allow competitors Access the payment system.

One of the sources said that the European Commission has since reduced its focus to NFC chips that can only be accessed through Apple Pay.

One of the sources said that the EU competition enforcement agency is preparing a fee schedule called “Opposition Statement”, which may be sent to Apple next year. Such documents usually stipulate what the regulator considers to be anti-competitive practices.

The committee has three other cases against Apple and declined to comment. It can impose a fine of up to 10% of its global turnover on companies that violate EU regulations. Based on Apple’s 2020 revenue, the fine may reach 27.4 billion U.S. dollars (approximately 20505 billion rupees).

Apple cited privacy and security issues in its Apple Pay policy, but did not immediately comment.

Apple shares fell 1% in early trading to 139.6 US dollars (approximately 10,450 rupees).

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NFC-enabled payments are becoming more and more popular, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some analysts said that Apple Pay has a wide range of coverage and excellent consumer experience in mobile websites or stores, giving it a competitive advantage over competitors.

Apple Pay has also received attention from other regulatory agencies and authorities. South Korea approved a bill last month that prohibits operators, including Apple, from forcing software developers to use their payment systems.

Germany passed a law in 2019 requiring Apple to its mobile payment system to competitors at a reasonable cost.

In the same year, the Dutch competition regulator launched an investigation into the and required app developers to use its payment system to make in-app purchases and pay 30% of the fee in the first year.

© Thomson Reuters 2021