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The European Union is moving forward in an antitrust case against Apple

BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union said Monday it believes Apple abused its dominant position by restricting competitors’ access to its Apple Pay mobile payment system.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation bloc, has been investigating the technology company since 2020.

The Commission’s preliminary view is that Apple is restricting competition by preventing mobile wallet developers from accessing the necessary hardware and software on their devices.

“By excluding others from the game, Apple has unfairly shielded its Apple Pay wallets from competition,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “If proven, this conduct would amount to the abuse of a dominant position, which is illegal under our rules.”

The commission did not say how large the fines against Apple could be if the charges were eventually upheld.

The commission said the practice “has an exclusive effect on competitors and leads to less innovation and fewer choices for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones.” The commission said it had sent a statement of objections to Apple over its practice. It is a formal step in its investigations into alleged violations of EU antitrust rules.

The case is one of several investigations the EU has opened against Apple. EU regulators are also investigating whether the company has violated the block’s antitrust laws by distorting competition for music streaming by imposing unfair rules on rival services in its App Store.

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