EXCLUSIVE Apple to face EU antitrust charge over NFC chip – sources

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BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Apple will likely be hit with an EU antitrust cost over its NFC chip expertise, individuals accustomed to the matter stated, a transfer that places it vulnerable to a doable hefty tremendous and will drive it to open its cellular cost system to rivals.

The iPhone maker has been in European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s crosshairs since June final yr when she launched an investigation into Apple Pay.

Preliminary issues have been Apple’s NFC chip which allows tap-and-go funds on iPhones, its phrases and circumstances on how cellular cost service Apple Pay ought to be utilized in retailers’ apps and web sites, and the corporate’s refusal to permit rivals entry to the cost system.

The European Fee has since narrowed its focus to only the NFC chip, which may solely be accessed by Apple Pay, one of many sources stated.

The EU competitors enforcer is now getting ready a cost sheet referred to as a press release of objections, which may very well be despatched to Apple subsequent yr, one of many sources stated. Such paperwork usually set out practices thought of anti-competitive by the regulator.

The Fee declined to remark. Apple, which has cited privateness and issues of safety for its coverage on Apple Pay, was not instantly obtainable for remark.

NFC-enabled funds have grown in reputation due partly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple Pay’s huge attain and superior client expertise on a cellular web site or in-store give it a aggressive edge over rivals, in accordance with some analysts.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Modifying by Jason Neely and Jan Harvey


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