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Apple hits back at German plans to open up mobile payments infrastructure

Apple has sought to undermine German efforts to force the US tech giant and other vendors to let rivals use their mobile payments infrastructure.

The new regulation, which allows suppliers to charge a “reasonable fee” for access, is due to come into force in the new year under new anti-money laundering legislation.

But in a statement issued in the wake of the move, Apple warned that the draft law would harm user friendliness, data protection and the security of financial information. “We are surprised at how suddenly this legislation was introduced,” the company said.

Apple makes money from its Apple Pay service by charging a fee for processing transactions. The company has not disclosed the size of its cut, but it has been reported to be a few pence per £100 spent in the UK and up to 15 cent per $100 in the US.

As the company’s hardware sales have begun to decline, Apple has been investing significantly in its services division in a bid to diversify its business and establish more regular sources of revenue. In addition to Apple Pay, the company is also rolling out a credit card service with the investment bank Goldman Sachs in the US. It is yet to set European launch dates.

The intervention by the German parliament reflects broader concerns among European politicians about the challenges homegrown firms face when they attempt to take on US tech giants.

Apple is accustomed to going head-to-head with European regulators. In 2016, the European Commission’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, ruled that Apple had failed to pay €13bn (£11.2bn) of taxes to Ireland.  Apple has appealed the ruling and a judgement is expected in the coming months.