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Apple reaches deal with EU regulators to open up mobile payments system to rivals

The European Union flag displayed on a mobile phone screen in front of the Apple logo on July 2, 2024.

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LONDON — EU antitrust regulators on Thursday accepted commitments from Apple to allow access to its tap and go payments technology to rivals, bringing an end to a four-year investigation.

“The commission has decided to accept commitments offered by Apple. These commitments address our preliminary concerns that Apple may illegally have restricted competition when it comes to mobile wallets on iPhones,” EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said in a press conference.

The EU formally launched an antitrust investigation relating to Apple Pay in 2020. The probe looked at the terms and conditions Apple sets for integrating Apple Pay in apps and websites as well as concerns around the tap and go technology and alleged refusals of accessing Apple Pay.

In 2022 the European Commission found that Apple Pay could restrict competition as it was the only option for iPhone users. Apple has since suggested several commitments to address the concerns and in January it offered to give its rivals access to its contactless payment and mobile wallet technology. 

Vestager said the European Commission market tested Apple’s commitments in January and February to collect feedback on the proposals and make an assessment.

The commission said it has now concluded that Apple’s final commitments address concerns regarding the tech giant’s restrictions of allowing third-parties access to its tap and go payments technology and the changes have been made legally binding on Apple.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This breaking news story is being updated.

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