Apple has warned that recent changes in German law which will effectively force it to open up its Apple Pay mobile payments system to rivals could hurt data protection and the security of financial information.
A German parliamentary committee voted in a late-night session last week to force Apple to open up Apple Pay to rival providers in Germany. This came in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law that was adopted last Thursday by the full parliament and is set to come into effect early next year.
The legislation, which did not name Apple specifically, will force operators of electronic money infrastructure to offer access to rivals for a reasonable fee. The law highlights the growing desire in Germany and Europe in general, for tighter regulation of US technology companies.
Apple Pay is a fast growing area of the company’s business, one which threatens to undermine traditional banks’ long-standing dominance of retail payment systems.
“We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced,” Apple said in a statement. “We fear that the draft law could be harmful to user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information.”
A person close to the government coalition said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office had pushed for the committee to withdraw the amendment. 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, said the official.
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