Market Loop - Apple Pay anti-competitive says EU

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3rd May 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning Welcome back from the long weekend. Today marks the one year anniversary of the first issue of Market Loop. To those who have been here from the very beginning and those who have just joined, and everyone in between – thank you! If we could ask for one favour to celebrate it would be to share Market Loop with a friend or two. Here’s to the next year!
Today's stories
  • Apple Pay anti-competitive says EU 
  • Tech’s terrible month
TECH
Apple Pay anti-competitive says EU


What happened
Yesterday the European Union accused Apple of unfairly restricting rivals from its Apply Pay mobile payment system, a practice it believes limits competition and ultimately hurts consumers. Apple denies the charge and has said it's ready to cooperate with the EU’s investigation.

Some context
Apple Pay is Apple's own mobile payment solution on iPhones and iPads that can be used in stores and online. 

Its near-field communication, or NFC "tap and go" technology is embedded on Apple mobile devices for payments in stores, allowing communication between a mobile phone and payments terminals. More than 2,500 banks in Europe use Apple Pay and Apple smartphones represent around a third of the market across Europe. 

The EU has been investigating Apple since 2020 and says that as the company is by far the largest NFC-based mobile wallet on the market, that by excluding others from popular technology leads to less innovation and less choice for consumers for mobile wallets on iPhones.

It’s not the first time the EU has come after Apple
Last year Apple was accused of suppressing competition for other music streaming services after rival Spotify lodged a complaint.

So what happens next
This is just the start of antitrust proceedings against Apple in what’s likely to be a long process. Apple will have the chance to respond to the EU’s accusations. If found guilty then Apple could be fined as much as 10% of its $37bn global revenue, as well as be forced to change its business operations.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
  • Passport delays could cost £1.1bn in cancelled summer trips
  • Citigroup says trader made error behind flash crash in Europe stock market
  • FCA staff to walk out on Wednesday in first strike action 
  • Staff at London law firm can work from home full-time – if they take 20% pay cut
  • Qantas Sydney to London route will become world's longest direct flight at 20 hours
  • Netflix faces losing licensed hit shows to streaming rivals
  • EU pilots own social media sites
STOCK MARKET
Tech’s terrible month


What happened
April was a month to forgot for anyone with a stock portfolio. The S&P 500  - the biggest US stock index -  was down nearly 10%, its worst month since March 2020. The tech-heavy NASDAQ index dropped 14%, its worst month since 2008. Among the biggest fallers: Netflix fell 49%, Amazon plummeted 24% and Google tumbled 18%. The NASDAQ has had the worst start to the year on record, with a 21% decline in 2022. 

What’s behind the move
The first quarter results of Big Tech released over the past couple of weeks weren’t encouraging for investors. News of declining subscriber numbers at Netflix, supply chain issues at Apple and losses at Amazon gave investors - who are already stressing over the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising interest rates - more to worry about.

How did the UK stock market do in comparison
The FTSE 100 fared much better, finishing April flat. As the UK market doesn’t have an equivalent to the Big Tech names it’s been largely immune to the tech sector sell off. Instead the UK market is heavily weighted towards energy, mining and financial service companies – all of which are having a strong 2022. Energy stocks have been boosted by rising oil prices. Miners have been lifted by historically good prices for iron, copper and aluminium. Meanwhile, financials, including banks, have benefited from rising interest rates.
Stat of the day

The number of children aged 8-12 with their own smartphones increased from 24% in 2015 to 43% in 2021
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