BRUSSELS (Reuters): Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will seek to convince EU antitrust regulators that it does not block rivals’ access to its technology used for mobile wallets at a closed hearing on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said, the last chance for it to do so before possible hefty fines.
The hearing, which senior European Commission and national competition officials, Apple executives and complainants will attend, comes nine months after the EU competition watchdog accused the company of abusing its market power.
The EU antitrust watchdog has said Apple’s anti-competitive practices dated back to 2015 when Apple Pay was launched.
The Commission declined to comment. Apple referred to its statement last year which said that Apple Pay is only one of many options available to European consumers and which has ensured equal access to its tap and go technology Near-Field Communication (NFC).
The company could face fines of up to 10% of its global turnover if found guilty of antitrust violations. It is also the target of EU charges of abusing its dominance in the music streaming market in a case triggered by a complaint by Spotify (SPOT.N). There is no EU decision yet on that case.