Rumours that Apple plans to restrict charging and data transfer speeds when using third-party USB-C cables have drawn the EU’s ire.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba, who spearheaded the European Parliament’s efforts to introduce a universal charging standard for electronics manufacturers, said on Wednesday that any such move would be in breach of EU law.

He said that MEPs would be holding an urgent meeting with the European Commission to discuss the issue and also writing to the tech giant to warn it that any such move would be illegal.

“Big companies like Apple cannot  continue to do what they want, to the detriment of consumers,” Agius Saliba said.

The EU Council approved a universal charging directive last year, following a vote by MEPs.

According to the law, electronics manufacturers selling devices in the EU must ensure they are compatible with USB-C charging starting from 2024.

While the vast majority of tech hardware manufacturers have already adopted the USB-C standard, Apple has stuck to its proprietary Lightning port technology, requiring users to buy specific cables to charge their Apple devices.   

Apple said last year that it would be complying with the EU directive. But various Apple-focused tech sites have reported that the company is planning an authentication chip on its devices that will throttle charging and data transfer speeds for users that use third-party USB-C cables.

The company has not commented on those rumours.

If true, the decision will effectively force users to purchase Apple-certified cables to enjoy their devices’ to their full capacity. Apple receives a commission on accessories certified for use with its devices.

Agius Saliba said that would be a “direct breach” of EU law, which states that as of 2024 fast charging standards must be harmonised and not linked to any particular brand of cable or charger.

The company is understood to have ignored a request to meet with the EP's Internal Market Committee about the rumoured change. 

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