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Report: Apple Aims to Settle EU Investigation Involving Contactless Payments

Apple, EU, contactless payments

Apple has reportedly made concessions to end a European Union (EU) antitrust investigation into its mobile payments system.

The tech giant will give its rivals more access to its contactless technology, thereby avoiding a fine, the Financial Times (FT) reported Tuesday (June 18), citing unnamed sources.

Without commenting on this report, Apple told the FT: “Through our ongoing discussions with the European Commission, we have offered commitments to provide third-party developers in the European Economic Area with an option that will enable their users to make NFC contactless payments from within their iOS apps, separate from Apple Pay and Apple Wallet.”

The European Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU, charged Apple with competition law violations in 2022, saying the company prevented competitors from accessing the technology that enables “tap-and-go” payments, according to the report.

In January, Apple committed to providing developers with free access to the technology and to take other measures to resolve the complaint, per the report.

Regulators accepted these measures and have been testing, the report said, citing the unnamed sources. Details are being worked out and a settlement is likely to be reached within weeks, it added.

At the same time, issues could arise before a settlement is reached and the timing of any decision could change, the report said.

By settling the investigation, Apple could avoid a finding of wrongdoing and a fine of as much as 10% of its global annual turnover.

This report comes at a time when Apple is also facing other challenges in Europe.

It was reported Friday (June 14) that the European Commission will bring charges against Apple after determining that the company is not complying with a requirement that it allow app developers to direct users to offers available outside Apple’s App Store without charging them fees.

In May, Apple appealed a nearly $2 billion antitrust fine handed down by European regulators after the European Commission ruled this winter that Apple was abusing its power in the streaming music market. The European Commission found that the company had prevented app developers from telling iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services.