Apple Opens iPhone Tap-and-Go Technology to Competitors in EU

Apple Opens iPhone's Tap-and-Go Technology to Competitors in EU

Apple Opens Tap-and-Go Tech marks a significant milestone as Apple announces its decision to allow banks, payment services, and app developers to utilize the foundational technology of Apple Pay. This move, following a lengthy European Union antitrust investigation, signals Apple’s commitment to fostering competition in tap-and-go payment services.

A New Era for Mobile Payments in the EU

This agreement pertains exclusively to the European Union, where consumers may experience a notable influx of new mobile payment apps and services. Historically, Apple has restricted access to the iPhone’s near field communication (NFC) technology, compelling users to exclusively use Apple Pay.

Apple has committed to permitting competitors to access the iPhone’s tap-and-go technology, stated Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s Executive Vice President overseeing competition policy. This initiative enhances competition in this vital sector by preventing Apple from excluding other mobile wallets from the iPhone’s ecosystem.

Apple’s decision to open iPhone tap-and-go tech fosters fair competition, benefiting diverse mobile wallets, WSJ Print Subscription said.

Background of the Investigation

The settlement originates from a 2020 investigation to ascertain whether Apple was exploiting its dominant position in the smartphone market to sideline rival payment service providers. The announcement on Thursday excludes the Apple Watch, which also features tap-and-go payment technology, according to an E.U. spokesperson.

Implications for the Tech Industry

Apple’s recent policy shift in Europe follows new tech regulations, allowing rival app stores on iPhones and iPads. This change complies with updated competition rules set earlier this year. Google has also adjusted search result displays in the EU accordingly. Meanwhile, Meta launched ad-free subscriptions for EU users on Facebook and Instagram.

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Global Impact of Regulatory Policies

These changes reflect a global technology industry shift influenced by governmental policies. Products and services, once universally accessible, now face market-specific alterations or restrictions due to regulations. Apple decided against launching its latest AI service in the EU due to regulatory uncertainties. Similarly, TikTok faces a legal ban in India as part of these regulatory changes.

Future of Regulatory Scrutiny

In Europe, regulatory scrutiny is anticipated to intensify. Apple is currently facing additional charges for allegedly breaching E.U. competition laws with its App Store policies. The company is also appealing a €1.8 billion fine for stifling competition in the music streaming market. Google, Meta, Microsoft, and TikTok are likewise under investigation by the E.U.

The unfolding scenario highlights the increasing impact of regulatory bodies on tech giants. This influence is compelling them to prioritize transparency and fair competition, particularly within the dynamic realms of digital payments and app ecosystems.

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