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Apple to Address Antitrust Concerns in Europe


Apple has announced plans to address antitrust concerns raised by European regulators regarding its popular mobile payment app, Apple Pay. The tech giant has agreed to grant access to third-party mobile wallet and payment services on devices running the iOS operating system, such as iPhones, without the need for Apple Pay or Apple Wallet.

This decision comes after an investigation into potential antitrust violations conducted by the European Commission executive arm in 2020. The inquiry specifically focused on whether Apple’s blocking of access to NFC technology, which enables mobile devices to communicate with payment terminals, violated competition rules.

As part of its commitment to resolving these concerns, Apple has invited comments from competitors regarding its concessions. In addition to allowing third-party apps to facilitate contactless payments, separate from Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, the company aims to promote fair competition in the European Economic Area.

“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,” stated Apple.

This move by Apple is a significant step toward creating a more open and inclusive mobile payments ecosystem in Europe. By allowing developers to utilize NFC technology and making contactless payments accessible to all parties, the tech giant shows its dedication to fostering fair competition.

Apple Pay: A Broadly Available Option with Unparalleled Privacy and Security

Apple Pay has announced that it will continue to be a widely accessible option, ensuring privacy, security, and an exceptional user experience across all European Economic Area (EEA) countries. With over 3,000 issuing banks in the EEA, Apple Pay remains committed to providing unparalleled features to its users.

Third-Party Allowance Extended to All Mobile Wallet App Developers

In addition to its existing offerings, Apple has agreed to extend the third-party allowance to all mobile wallet app developers within the EEA. This expansion includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, benefitting all iOS users within these regions. Furthermore, Apple will not restrict the use of these apps for payments beyond the EEA zone.

Crucial Market Test for Antitrust Concerns

To address any potential antitrust concerns, Apple’s commitments will undergo a market test. If this test attests to their efficacy, the EU can adopt these rules and render them legally binding. However, it’s vital to note that this decision does not absolve Apple of any past violations of antitrust regulations.

Flexibility for Consumers

When making payments using their mobile devices, consumers will have the freedom to choose between Apple Pay and other iOS-enabled payment apps. Additionally, users will retain the ability to change their default payment method at any time, offering them maximum flexibility and convenience.

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