The European Union is set to hit Apple with an antitrust charge over the US firm's NFC chip technology, according to Reuters.
Last year, the EC opened an antitrust investigation into Apple Pay, which among other things looked into the company's refusal to open up access to its NFC chip to other payment service.
Apple Pay is the only mobile payment service that may access the NFC 'tap and go' technology embedded on iOS mobile devices for payments in stores, a process that has been damned by banks in a number of jurisdictions for preventing competition from their own proprietary apps.
The EC is now moving ahead with its case, preparing a statement of objections, which could be sent to Apple next year, says Reuters, citing a source.
The Commission has dropped other parts of the investigation, including into the conditions on how Apple Pay should be used in merchants' apps and websites.
In addition to the antitrust investigation, the Commission has also previously raised the prospect of legislation aimed at forcing Apple to open up its NFC functionality.
German lawmakers passed legislation designed to force Apple to open up the NFC chip to rival providers back in 2019, while Australian banks recently opened up a new front in their long-running battle for access.