The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has denied permission for collective bargaining over Apple Pay.
Three of the country’s four major banks applied to negotiate with Apple together, and potentially boycott the service if no deal was reached. Now that this request has been denied by the ACCC, they’ll have to work out individual agreements over Apple Pay.
Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have failed to reach an agreement with Apple due to the company’s so-called “intransigent, closed and controlling” approach to Apple Pay.
The banks argued that Apple should not be allowed to block rival payment services from using the NFC chip inside the iPhone that makes mobile payments possible. They have also been unhappy about Apple’s policies around Apple Pay fees.
Back in October, the trio requested permissions from the ACCC to negotiate collectively or launch an official boycott, but that won’t be happening. This is just a draft decision for now, with a final ruling expected in March 2017. This gives the banks some time to appeal the decision and hope that the ACCC changes its mind. In the meantime, however, they won’t be allowed to enter talks with Apple as a team.
“We believe today’s draft decision is great for Australians and we look forward to continuing to work with individual banks in Australia and around the world to bring Apple Pay to their customers,” an Apple spokesperson told ABC Australia .
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the benefits of allowing collective bargaining are uncertain. “This is currently a finely balanced decision. The ACCC is not currently satisfied that the likely benefits from the proposed conduct outweigh the likely detriments.”
ANZ, American Express, and Cuscal have all been Apple to reach agreements with Apple for customers in Australia.