Apple, Facebook must create level playing field for payment services: Dutch market authority
Big Tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon must ensure that their platform or device supports different payment service providers, so that there is a level playing field to promote innovation and development, the Dutch authority for consumers and markets ACM said on Tuesday. The ACM suggested changing European rules accordingly.
A market study by ACM showed that Big Tech companies currently only have a limited role in the payment market, but ACM expects that to change as these companies increasingly start offering their own payment options. There are also more and more options for contactless payments in stores, through smart phones and smart watches.
The ACM wants to make sure that tech platforms and devices offer access to multiple payment services. If popular online platforms or devices refuse competing payment services, or make it difficult for competitors to function on their platform or device, it hampers competition and thus further innovation, the ACM said.
"Big Tech companies can play a driving role in competition and therefore innovation in the Dutch payment market. But it does require the Big Tech companies to open up their platforms and devices to competing payment services. Just like the banks have to do," ACM chairman Martijn Snoep said. "Only in such a level playing field will payment services continue to compete and innovate and will consumers remain free to choose. It would be good that before the market is dominated by one or a few major players, European rules on this point are tightened."
The ACM wants to update the European PSD2 directive, so that Big Tech companies that only facilitate payment services also have to adhere to the rules for open access to payment systems. And it wants to change the competition rules so that conditions can be set for dominant platforms in advance, forcing dominant companies to open their platform to others so that the level playing field can remain.