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11 December 2018 at 14:06 BST

EU's Vestager casts her eye over Apple, Google and Amazon

The EU may investigate Apple Pay if there are formal complaints, while Google and Amazon are very much on the radar.

Margrethe Vestager Shutterstock

EU regulators have decided Apple’s mobile payment service is not market dominant, but reserve the right to review it again if they receive formal complaints, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager explained in an interview with Reuters.

A second look?

Critics say that an NFC chip embedded in the Apple iPhone means that Apple Pay is automatically selected when an iPhone user pays for goods and services, barring rival payment methods. The Danish Competition Authority is investigating the issue, which was brought to its attention by the Danish Consumer Council. Ms Vestager told Reuters she did a preliminary review some time back,’when we were looking at it ... (at) first glance, we couldn’t see Apple being dominant. That doesn’t exclude in the future that we will have a second look. But when we looked some time ago, we didn’t find ... the necessary (evidence) to start a case,’ adding ‘obviously if we had official complaints, we would take that seriously because the entire payment market is a very important payment market.’

On the radar

Ms Vestager in an interview with Reuters warned that Google and Amazon would remain very much on her radar until the end of her mandate late next year. Google has been fined a total of 6.8 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in the last 18 months for breaching EU rules. She is reviewing whether Amazon is using merchants’ data illegally to make its own brand products similar to retailers’. She said she has been inundated with data, key to building a case against the U.S. online retailer. Ms Vestager said, ‘now we have received not piles, but mountains of data and for us it is a priority to go through that, both from Amazon themselves but also coming in from some of the businesses that they actually host.’ She added, ‘for us, of course it is important to get the starting point right because, if we open a case, in order to be able to proceed with some speed, well then of course we need to get some of the basics right and we are in the process of doing that.’


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