Apple CEO Tim Cook to Meet EU Antitrust Chief Next Week

Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet the European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, next week amid a series of disputes with the organization (via Reuters).

Vestager is also set to meet the chief executives of Alphabet, Broadcom, and Nvidia, as well as senior executives from OpenAI. The meetings will take place in San Francisco and Palo Alto on Thursday and Friday next week, and will focus on European competition policy and digital regulation.

In December, Apple reportedly floated the ability for Apple Pay rivals to access the iPhone‘s NFC technology for contactless payments in the EU. The offer is designed to settle an ongoing antitrust dispute and avoid a potential fine. The European Commission is believed to be seeking feedback from rivals and customers before accepting the offer, so it is highly likely that this matter will be discussed.

Apple is also facing several other challenges in the EU that will almost certainly be the subject of discussion, such as a $14 billion tax dispute. Most strikingly, new EU rules such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) designate major tech companies as “gatekeepers” and compel them to open up their various services and platforms to other companies and developers. The DMA is expected to force Apple to make significant changes to the way the App Store, FaceTime, and Siri work in Europe. For example, Apple will next year be obliged to allow users to install third-party app stores and sideload apps, as well as give developers the ability to promote their offers outside the ‌‌‌‌App Store‌‌‌‌ and use third-party payment systems.

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