Apple Agrees to EU Antitrust Commitments for Mobile Payments

The European Commission has accepted Apple's commitments to allow third-party access to its mobile payment technology, ending an antitrust investigation. Apple will enable NFC access for other developers in the EU, benefiting customers and competitors. The commitments will be enforced for a decade and monitored by a trustee.

Devdiscourse News Desk | London | Updated: 11-07-2024 16:14 IST | Created: 11-07-2024 16:14 IST
Apple Agrees to EU Antitrust Commitments for Mobile Payments
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The European Commission, the EU's executive arm and top antitrust enforcer, announced its acceptance of Apple's proposed commitments, making them legally binding.

In 2022, the commission accused Apple of abusing its dominant position by restricting access to its mobile payment technology. Apple responded in January with a proposal to allow third-party mobile wallet and payment service providers access to the contactless payment function in its iOS operating system. After revisions based on testing and feedback, the commission believes the final commitments will address its competition concerns.

"Today's commitments end our Apple Pay investigation," said Margrethe Vestager, the commission's executive vice-president for competition policy. Vestager emphasized that the commitments will bring significant changes to how Apple operates in Europe for the benefit of competitors and customers. iPhone users will have more options for default wallets, and mobile wallet developers will gain access to crucial iPhone verification functions like Face ID.

Mobile wallets rely on near-field communication (NFC) technology, which uses a chip to communicate wirelessly with a merchant's payment terminal. The commission had charged Apple with denying access to Apple Pay, the market's leading NFC-based mobile wallet. The changes will remain in force for a decade across the EU's 27 countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, monitored by a trustee.

Apple has until July 25 to make the changes. Post this date, developers will offer a mobile wallet on the iPhone with the same "tap and go" experience previously exclusive to Apple Pay. Apple stated it will provide developers in the European Economic Area with options for NFC contactless payments and transactions for uses such as car keys, corporate badges, hotel keys, and concert tickets. Failure to comply with EU competition law could lead to fines up to 10 per cent of Apple's annual global revenue, amounting to potentially tens of billions of euros.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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