Apple Nears Settlement in EU Antitrust Case Over Mobile Payments, Was Said To Be $40B

Apple payment processing

Apple is close to resolving a long-running investigation by the European Union (EU) into Apple Pay, which soon might work on Android. The case resolves around concerns that Apple restricted access to the technology needed for contactless payments, hence hindering competition.

The EU Commission accused Apple in 2022 of limiting access to near-field communication (NFC) chips used in “tap-and-go” payments. This allegedly gave Apple Pay an unfair advantage over competing mobile wallet services.

Apple reportedly offered concessions to avoid a fine reaching tens of billions of dollars. This means they’d have to grant developers on iOS devices free access to NFC technology, which will let devs create contactless payment options independent of Apple Pay or Wallet, but not Apple Pay Later, as it’s been discontinued.

With these proposed solutions, a settlement is expected within the next few weeks. This would be a significant win for Apple, as the potential fine could have been as high as $40 billion based on their 2023 revenue.

The development comes amidst growing tensions between Apple and EU regulators. Apple recently faced a record €1.8 billion fine for anti-competitive practices in music streaming, which they are appealing. Additionally, they are set to be the first tech giant charged under the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, which was formed to create a fairer digital marketplace. It came into action in March of this year.

Apple declined to comment on the specifics of the settlement but confirmed ongoing discussions with the EU Commission.

More here.

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