European Union doesn`t like big companies like Apple. Google, Facebook, and Amazon to name a few. They believe that companies should be small and compete with each other. The more competition, the better.
Now, Apple faces a possible hefty fine and may have to open its mobile payment system to competitors after EU`s antitrust regulators charged the iPhone maker with restricting rivals’ access to its technology used for mobile wallets.
EU`s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said on Monday: «Mobile payments play a rapidly growing role in our digital economy. It is important for the integration of European Payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative payments landscape.»
«We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple`s devices. In our Statement of Objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to benefit from its own solution Apple Pay. If confirmed, such conduct would be illegal under our competition rules.»
The investigation will now follow into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission and Margrethe Vestager think Apple is violating the block`s antitrust rules with its limits on rival providers of mobile wallets.
They believe that Apple «abused its dominant position» in giving a boost to its own contactless payments system.
I can only speak for myself, and I have an iPhone, but I use my Fitbit to pay with my Visa card. It`s easy, fast, and contactless. So, Apple didn`t have an advantage in my world. But the main reason is that Apple only accepts a Mastercard.
This is not the first time the EU is attacking U.S tech giants. A year ago, they attacked Apple`s handling of rival music apps. They also want major changes to the App Store and iMessage, as well as services from Google and Amazon.
Last year, Amazon was hit by the biggest ever European Union privacy fine after its lead privacy watchdog hit it with a $888 million penalty for violating the bloc`s tough data protection rules. Amazon said the decision is «without merit.»
In November last year, Google lost its appeal against a €2,4 billion EU fine over its shopping service. The Commission argued that Google had unfairly used its dominant search engine to redirect traffic to Google shopping.
Brussels claims Google began to systematically favor its shopping service in the results of its popular search engine, whose market dominance exceeds 90% in most EU countries. Google Shopping now routinely appears at the very top of search results.
Six years ago, I wrote an article about The European Commission, that said Irland had enabled Apple to pay «substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.» But the EU`s general court decided that the commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given the U.S tech giant a tax advantage.
In 2020, Apple won a landmark court case against the European Commission over the dispute concerning $14,9 billion in Irish taxes. And these are some of the few attacks on U.S tech giants.
Over twenty years ago, I can remember that Microsoft was attacked by rumors. Don`t use Windows, because it`s a virus in it. That will kill your computer, they said. Bill Gates was also attacked multiple times. Again and again. Today, we see the Marxist Media Mob use words like Oligarchs about the rich.
Sometimes, the EU should attack the rules. Not the companies.