Apple Reportedly Closing in on NFC Deal with EU Regulators

Published: June 21, 2024
  • Apple appears to have agreed to would provide third-party developers with open access to the ‌iPhone‌’s NFC
  • EU charged Apple in 2022 with violating competition law,

A deal is reportedly in place between Apple and the European Union (EU) in regards to near-field communications (NFC).

The Financial Times reported that after a lengthy antitrust investigation by EU into its mobile payments system by making significant concessions to give competitors access to the iPhone‘s NFC technology.

The deal that Apple has reportedly agreed to would provide third-party developers with open access to the ‌iPhone‌’s NFC. This access would not require the use of ‌Apple Pay‌ or Apple Wallet, effectively allowing competitors to create their own contactless payment solutions.

EU Charges

The European Commission charged Apple in 2022 with violating competition law, contending that Apple was preventing competitors from accessing its NFC technology to favor Apple Pay. A Reuters story in April stated the iPhone maker had offer to open its tap-and-go mobile payments system to rivals for the next 10 year.

The U.S. company has previously offered to let rivals access its NFC on its iPhones, iPads and other Apple mobile devices free of charge without having to use Apple Pay or Apple Wallet, with access based on fair and non-discriminatory criteria.

Additionally, proposed additional functionalities including defaulting of preferred payment apps, access to authentication features such as FaceID and to set up a dispute settlement mechanism.

Avoiding Multi-Billion Dollar Fine

London-based payment app Curve has expressed interest in implementing its own NFC system on the ‌iPhone‌ once the agreement is official.

The settlement, which is expected to be finalized over the next few weeks, would settle the four-year investigation Apple that if the Silicon Valley-based company would stave off a potential hefty fine that could be as much as 10% of its global annual turnover—given Apple’s reported revenue of $383 billion in 2023, the fine could have amounted to approximately $40 billion.

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