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Australia’s Commonwealth Bank mocks Apple’s ‘pro-competition’ claim, Telecom News, ET Telecom


By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY: Commonwealth Bank of Australia , the largest creditor in the country, accused Apple Inc. on Thursday of uncompetitive behavior in controlling payments on their phones, which rose to about a third of all consumer payments.

The remarks come after the competition regulator told the Australian Financial Review this month that it was reviewing whether AppleIPhone’s iPhone architecture violates competition laws.

Matt Comin, chief executive of the Sydney-based bank, called on lawmakers to tighten control over technology giants, saying payments through digital wallets developed by Apple and Alphabet’s Google form about 45% of all consumer payments.

“The claim that Apple is for competition, I think, is a fair statement, as long as it is assumed that competition is welcome, as long as no one can compete with Apple,” Comin told a regular parliamentary committee.

The bank is urging Apple to release Near field communication (NFC) chip on its phones to use banks’ own applications, citing its own data that the company captures 80% of transactions made through digital telephone wallets.

Apple, which requires banks to process all contactless payments through their digital wallet and pay an undisclosed fee, declined to comment when it contacted Reuters.

“It’s similar to imagining a world today where the only person on your Apple phone who can determine which carrier you’re using is Apple,” Comyn added.

Last month, the technology giant said in a Senate inquiry that its Apple Pay application was “for the competition” and accused companies insisting on further control of its products of doing so “for their own commercial gain.”

The results of the investigation have not been published.

On Thursday, a representative of the competition regulator said he would not provide “ongoing comments” on his investigations.

Unlike Apple, search giant Google allows banks and other third parties access to its NFC chip.

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