Apple is reportedly proposing to open up its near-field communication (NFC) technology to its rivals in order to avoid a hefty fine and ongoing legal battle with the European Union, as reported by Reuters.
The move comes after the European Commission launched an antitrust investigation into Apple’s practices surrounding Apple Pay, suspecting that the company was unfairly restricting access to key technology to maintain its dominance in the mobile payment market.
Apple’s proposed solution, if accepted by the Commission, could bring an end to the investigation and potentially save the company from significant financial penalties. However, the Commission will need to consult with Apple’s rivals and customers before making a final decision.
Despite not holding the majority share of smartphone sales or being the dominant mobile payment service in the EU, Apple Pay has gained significant traction, with over 2,500 banks and more than 250 fintech and challenger banks across Europe using the service.
Apple’s efforts to address the EU’s concerns come amidst a broader crackdown on the company’s business practices. The EU recently labeled Apple as a “gatekeeper” under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which empowers the Commission to regulate big tech firms that hold dominant positions in the digital market.
As Apple navigates these regulatory challenges, it’s clear that the company is facing increasing pressure to address concerns about its competitive practices in the EU. The proposed NFC access could be a step in the right direction. However, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to appease the Commission and avoid further regulatory scrutiny.