Apple Pay not dominant enough in Europe to face regulator concerns, but that could change

In a new interview with Reuters, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager cleared Apple when asked about its mobile payment service and competitive issues in Europe … for now. In a bit of a burn from Vestager, she shared that Apple Pay doesn’t have the dominance in Europe yet that would prompt an investigation.

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Apple Pay is steadily expanding to new regions including Germany, however, which will expand Apple Pay’s reach. Vestager also told Reuters that she isn’t opposed to investigating Apple Pay over competitive violations if a formal complaint was filed.

“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,” she said.

“Obviously if we had official complaints, we would take that seriously because the entire payment market is a very important payment market.”

For regulators, the issue with Apple would be over the practice of only allowing Apple Pay to work with NFC chips on the iPhone and Apple Watch. If iOS and Apple Pay were dominant in Europe, regulators could pressure Apple to allow competing mobile payment services like Google Pay as options when tapping to pay with iPhone.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.