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Apple hits back at Australian banks

Apple hits back at Australian banks

(9 August 2016 – Australia) Technology giant, Apple has hit back at a group of Australian banks that are seeking collectively negotiate with the firm over access to iPhone mobile payments technology, Apple Pay.

In a statement to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Apple referred to the coalition of banks — which includes Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac as a “cartel” and makes reference to numerous “factual and legal misstatements in the banks’ application”.

The banks filed a joint application with the ACCC in July requesting permission to collectively negotiate with Apple, arguing that the Silicon Valley based company was engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by not allowing third-party access to the iPhone near-field communication (NFC) technology.

Apple has responded by urging the ACCC to reject the banks’ application for interim authorisation, saying “the request would harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation, and create a troubling precedent.

“The request by the applicant banks would slow innovation and reduce choices by protecting members of the cartel from competition with each other,” Apple said.

According to Apple, the applicant banks are seeking to charge consumers to use Apple Pay and force Apple to undermine the security of its payment systems.

“Providing simple access to the NFC antenna by banking applications would fundamentally diminish the high level of security Apple aims to have on our devices,” the company said.

Apple launched its mobile payment service in Australia in November 2015, with American Express as its only partner. Earlier this year, ANZ Bank launched on the service, becoming the only major Australian bank offering Apple Pay to its customers.

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