Apple has made clear that allowing access to the NFC technology within its iPhone is “not open to negotiation with any bank”. The assertion comes in a second submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), urging the organisation to reject a request from a group of the country’s banks seeking power to negotiate with mobile wallet providers.
“The Commission should reject the application by four of Australia’s largest banks to jointly negotiate the terms and conditions with third party mobile wallet providers and to institute a joint boycott during those negotiations,” Apple says in its 65-page submission.
“Apple has tried and failed to negotiate commercial terms with each of the applicant banks except one, which has not even been willing to sign a confidentiality agreement and thus has not yet been provided with a copy of Apple’s initial terms.
“Much of the applicant banks’ application relates to their desire to have direct access to the NFC antenna contained in Apple devices. Apple does not provide banks access to the NFC radio because doing so would undermine the security our customers expect when using Apple devices to make payments.”
“The only effect that the proposed collective bargaining/boycott could have is to further delay, or even block, the expansion of Apple Pay in Australia,” Apple adds.
“The applicant banks have failed to justify, by means of compelling evidence, that the public benefit outweighs the detriment of the highly anti-competitive conduct in which they propose to engage.”
Apple spoke out for the first time about the banks’ submission earlier this month, stating that their case was made up of “factual and legal misstatements” and would “harm consumers, lead to less competition and less innovation, and create a troubling precedent” if granted.
Supermarket giant Coles recently put its backing behind the banks with its own submission to the ACCC. Earlier this month the ACCC ruled that it would not grant the banks interim authorization to collectively negotiate.