EU Set to Approve Apple’s NFC Opening Proposal


Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) proposal to open its tap-and-go mobile payments system to competitors is nearing approval by EU antitrust regulators, sources familiar with the matter revealed.

The tech giant’s initiative aims to settle a longstanding investigation into its Apple Pay mobile wallet, potentially avoiding significant penalties, including fines of up to 10% of its global annual turnover.

Apple’s near-field communication technology facilitates contactless payments via mobile wallets. The European Commission previously accused Apple of anti-competitive behavior by restricting access to this technology for rival mobile wallet app developers.

In January, Apple offered to provide competitors with access to its NFC technology on various devices, including iPhones and iPads, without mandating the use of Apple Pay or Apple Wallet. Access would be granted free of charge and based on fair and non-discriminatory criteria.

Addressing concerns raised by rivals and customers, Apple refined its proposal, introducing additional functionalities such as default payment app settings, access to authentication features like FaceID, and a dispute settlement mechanism. The proposed access to NFC technology would be valid for 10 years.

The European Commission aims to finalize the approval process by summer, with May as the anticipated timeframe, pending final technical details from Apple.

This development follows Apple’s recent 1.84 billion-euro ($2 billion) fine for alleged antitrust violations related to its App Store’s treatment of music streaming competitors like Spotify.

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