Australian commission denies banks’ right to negotiate as group with Apple

apple pay australia anti competition applepay02
123RF
Australian banks will be forced to negotiate with Apple individually when it comes to rolling out Apple Pay, due to anti-cartel laws. This confirms a ruling handed down by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) back in November 2016.

Although Apple Pay is a service introduced by the Cupertino, California-company, the actual financial transactions themselves stay between the banks, retailers, and customers. That said, Apple has, elsewhere in the world, negotiated lower transaction fees in return for encouraging more credit-based transactions.

If it wants to do that in Australia though, it will need to do so with individual banks, rather than all of them as a collective.

“The ACCC is not satisfied, on balance, that the likely benefits from the proposed conduct outweigh the likely detriments,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims said in a statement (via 9t05Mac). “We are concerned that the proposed conduct is likely to reduce or distort competition in a number of markets.”

“While the ACCC accepts that the opportunity for the banks to collectively negotiate and boycott would place them in a better bargaining position with Apple, the benefits would be outweighed by detriments.”

Apple’s response to the news was slightly derogatory. It suggested that it had been able to successfully negotiate the use of Apple Pay in a variety of markets, but struggled with Australia, purely because of the ACCC.

Part of the reason a deal has yet to be struck with Australian banks is because they have previously requested access to the iPhone’s NFC chip, which would allow not only Apple Pay to work, but alternative mobile payment options as well. Apple’s denial of access is said to be related to security concerns.

It’s sticking to its guns, too, so it may mean that negotiations take far longer now that it will have to make deals with individual banks over the coming months. This could lead to some banks negotiating better rates than others, which could affect the rollout, though to what extent is anyone’s guess.

Product Review

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 launched last year, but already feels old

Released in fall of 2018, the Surface Laptop 2 was competitive at the time but now must deal with new competitors that were announced at CES 2019. How does the popular Surface Laptop 2 hold up six months later?
Mobile

FCC chairman and commissioner support the T-Mobile and Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for May 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Mobile

U.K. carrier EE will flip the switch on its 5G network on May 30

5G will launch on all major networks in the U.K. during 2019. Here are all the details from Vodafone, EE, O2, and Three UK to help you get onboard with the right carrier, and choose the right phone.
Mobile

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Mobile

Sony not giving up on smartphones, but will only focus on 4 regions

Sony says it will not give up on phones, and still considers them indispensable to its business, but will focus on only four regions around the world — Japan, Europe, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Deals

REI cuts prices on Garmin Fenix 5 and Suunto 3 fitness smartwatches

REI is currently dropping prices on Garmin Fenix and Suunto smartwatches for its anniversary sale. With fitness tracking, GPS, and smartphone connectivity, a solid wearable is one of the best companions outdoorsmen could wish for.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: The top deals from Walmart, Dell, and Home Depot

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Mobile

Chip architecture firm ARM ceases business with Huawei, claims latest leak

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Mobile

Keep your gadgets fully powered with the best Micro USB cables

A lot of older gadgets and Android smartphones still rely on Micro USB cables to charge or transfer data. Check out our picks of the best Micro USB cables, whether you want something reliable, tough, feature-packed, or simple.
Android

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Mobile

Embattled Huawei preps its own backup operating system that runs Android apps

According to a new report, Huawei is developing its own mobile operating system, just in case it loses its access to Android -- something that could happen to ZTE in the near future.