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Australian regulator to block collective bank bargaining on Apple payment system

SYDNEY Nov 29 Australia's antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it was planning to deny some banks authorisation to collectively bargain with Apple Inc in relation to its mobile digital payment system.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said letting banks collectively offer their own integrated digital wallets in Apple iPhones, in competition with Apple's "Apple Pay" system, would reduce each individual bank's ability to negotiate with the U.S. technology giant.

"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 are currently uncertain and may be limited," commission chairman Rod Sims said in a statement. (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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