Apple opens up NFC payment technology to EU rivals – channelnews

Following an antitrust investigation by the European Union into its mobile payment system, Apple is on the verge of making concessions to its competitors within the EU.

The tech giant will allow third-party payment platforms to access its nearby tap-and-go communications system.

This access will be granted over the next decade, but only on devices in the 27 member states, the Financial Times said.

In 2022, the European Commission accused Apple of violating competition law, arguing that Apple prevented competitors from accessing its NFC technology to favor Apple Pay.

This latest access is believed to not require the use of Apple Pay or Apple Wallet, allowing competitors to create their own contactless payment solutions

By making the latest concessions, Apple will escape any fines the company faces regarding this issue. Those fines could have amounted to up to 10 percent of the company’s annual global revenue — or nearly $60 billion according to Apple’s 2023 figures.

The settlement is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, although it does not appear that the problems in the EU have been completely resolved.

This week, European Union antitrust monitors identified several “very serious” problems with Apple’s business practices that may not comply with the bloc’s digital business law, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

In March itself, the European Commission began investigating possible breaches related to Apple’s new fee structure for alternative app stores under the Digital Markets Act. It looked into whether Apple charges a ‘Core Technology Fee’ to developers who want to ‘steer’ users to offers outside the App Store. An additional 3 percent also goes to Apple if a developer uses its payment processor.

Apple appears to have broken EU rules in that area. A formal ruling on this is also expected in the coming weeks.