Apple won the first round of a battle with Australia’s largest banks, which have been trying to force the tech company to offer them access to its Apple Pay technology that allows smartphones and tablets to communicate with payment terminals.
The decision could help smooth Apple Pay’s difficult entry into Australia, where mobile-payment technology is more advanced than in the US—chip-and-PIN payments, widely rolled out in America only in the past year, are virtually passé in Australia—and where most consumers simply wave a debit or credit card near a reader to make everyday payments.
In a draft ruling on Tuesday, Australia’s antitrust watchdog said it wouldn’t allow Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking, National Australia Bank and regional lender Bendigo & Adelaide Bank to collectively boycott Apple’s mobile-payments platform. The lenders, which together account for about two-thirds of household deposits and issued credit in the country, had sought permission to negotiate collectively with Apple to avoid antitrust action. The regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, will make a final decision in March.
Full Content: The Wall Street Journal