Apple, Brussels settle ‘tap and go’ antitrust dispute

The European Commission approved AppleThe company announced on Thursday that it plans to open up its contactless payment system to rivals, putting an end to a long-running antitrust investigation.

Brussels said its decision to accept the commitments, proposed by Apple earlier this year, makes them binding.

It also means Apple will avoid a hefty fine.

The European Commission opened an investigation into Apple’s so-called “tap and go” technology in 2020, out of concerns that the US tech giant was blocking access to rivals to favour its own payments system. In 2022, it ruled that Apple was breaking competition law.

In response, Apple has proposed a series of concessions that officials have been testing over the past six months.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of competition policy, said the decision “opens up competition in this key sector by preventing Apple from excluding other mobile wallets from the iPhone ecosystem.

“Now, competitors will be able to effectively compete with Apple Pay for mobile payments with iPhone in stores. Consumers will have a wider choice of secure and innovative mobile wallets to choose from.”

The EU’s anti-competitive sanctions could include fines of up to 10% of a company’s total global annual turnover. Apple’s revenues reached $383 billion in 2023.

In a statement, Apple said its offering will enable European developers to enable contactless payments for car keys, closed-loop public transport, corporate IDs, and other activities.