Apple said on Friday moves in Germany to force it to open its Apple Pay mobile payment system to rivals could undermine data protection and the security of financial information.
A German parliamentary committee unexpectedly voted in an evening session on Wednesday to force the technology giant to open Apple Pay to rival suppliers in Germany. This came in the form of an amendment to an anti-money laundering law, which was adopted by the entire parliament on Thursday and is expected to take effect early next year.
The legislation, which did not specifically name Apple, will force e-money infrastructure operators to offer rivals access for a reasonable fee. The law highlights Germany's growing desire for stricter regulation of US technology companies.
Apple Pay, which allows people to pay with their iPhones, is a rapidly growing area of the company's business that threatens to undermine the long-standing dominance of traditional retail payment systems by traditional banks.
"We are surprised by the sudden introduction of this legislation," Apple said on Friday. "We fear that the bill could be detrimental to ease of use, data protection and the security of financial information."
A person close to the government coalition said Chancellor Angela Merkel's office had pressured the commission to withdraw the amendment.
This accusation was denied by a senior office official who said there was complete consensus within the government about the change. The only question mark was whether the Ministry of Finance had checked whether the legislation was legally waterproof. With that confirmed, the office had no reservations, the official said.