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EU Looks To End Apple Pay Monopoly

The European Union is considering rules that would force Apple to open up near-field communication (NFC) payment on its devices to competing services.

With iPhone and Apple Watch customers currently only able to make NFC payments through the manufacturer’s own Apple Pay service, the new laws – as reported by Bloomberg – would bar restrictions on access to NFC technology in smartphones and other devices. Apple Pay competitors, including banks, have complained that Apple’s NFC restrictions have prevented them from offering tap-and-go payment functionality in their own devices.

“In parallel with its ongoing and future competition enforcement, the Commission will examine whether it is appropriate to propose legislation aimed at securing a right of access under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions, to technical infrastructures considered necessary to support the provision of payment services,” said a report from the EU.

The report, part of a suite of policy proposals, will be officially released by the European Commission next week. The Commission’s antitrust arm has already launched a competition case to determine whether Apple’s restrictions unfairly block competitors from using NFC payment on its devices.

Apple has previously argued that the restrictions are due to a system that encrypts users’ card information, and that relaxing them could lead to security risks.

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