German Law Forcing Apple to Open Up Apple Pay to Rival Providers
Following an unexpected vote by a German parliamentary committee earlier this week, Apple is being forced to open up its Apple Pay mobile payments system to rival providers in the country, Reuters is reporting. The iPhone maker, however, says the move could risk the security of its users’ financial information.
The new legislation, which will come into effect early next year, came in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law and forces operators of electronic money infrastructure to offer access to rivals for a fee.
“We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced,” said Apple. “We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information.”
According to a person close to the government coalition, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office had pushed for the committee to withdraw the amendment, but the request was turned down.
“That charge was denied by a senior official in the office who said there had been complete consensus within the government over the move. The only question mark had been over whether the Finance Ministry had checked the legislation was legally watertight. With that confirmed, the office had no further reservations, the official said.”
Experts say the legislation also highlights the growing desire in Germany for tighter regulation of U.S. technology companies.