EU regulator set to approve Apple Pay 3rd party access

In January of this year Payments Cards & Mobile brought you the breaking news that the EU regulator was aggressively pursuing Apple, and in particular, singled out its restricted access to the Apple Pay NFC chip for payments.

EU regulator to approve Apple Pay 3rd party access

Under intense pressure from the EU regulator and facing the potential of a hefty fine, Apple agreed to let third-party mobile wallet and payment services in Europe use free access to Apple Pay in a move to allay the competition concerns.

Today, according to Reuters, Apple’s offer to open its Apple Pay mobile payments system to rivals is set to be approved by EU antitrust regulators as soon as next month after it tweaked some of the terms, people familiar with the matter said.

Apple’s bid to settle the four-year investigation would help it dodge a finding of wrongdoing and stave off a potential hefty fine that could be as much as 10% of its global annual turnover.

The European Commission two years ago accused Apple of thwarting competition for its Apple Pay mobile wallet by preventing rival mobile wallets app developers from accessing its tap-and-go technology.

In January 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.

It also offered to provide additional functionalities including defaulting of preferred payment apps, access to authentication features such as FaceID and a suppression mechanism, and also to set up a dispute settlement mechanism.

Apple was asked to tweak some of the terms following feedback from rivals and customers. The NFC proposal would be for 10 years.

The Commission aims to accept the offer by the summer, with May as the likeliest month although the timing could still change as it waits for Apple to work out the final technical details.

The company was hit with a €1.84 billion fine, its first EU antitrust penalty, last month for thwarting competition from Spotify and other music streaming rivals via restrictions on its App Store.

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