Australian banks can’t negotiate over Apple Pay — at least not yet

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australia’s anti-trust regulator, says it won’t grant the country's three biggest banks interim approval to collectively negotiate with Apple Inc to install their own electronic payments applications on iPhones, reports Reuters.

Last month those banks, including the top lender, National Australia Bank, e lodged a joint application with anti-trust regulators seeking approval to collectively negotiate with Apple to install their own electronic payments applications on iPhones. 

Apple, which operates its Apple Pay mobile payment service, doesn’t allow third-party electronic payment apps to be installed on the smartphone. The banks are seeking to be able to negotiate jointly for access to Apple's phones without themselves being accused of violating anti-competition law.

The ACCC said that its decision not to grant the banks the interim ruling was not indicative of whether the full ruling, expected in October, would be successful or not.

"The ACCC has considered interim authorization within a short time frame at the request of the applicants," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims told Reuters. “However, given the complexity of the issues and the limited time available, the ACCC has decided not to grant interim authorization at this time. The ACCC requires more time to consult and consider the views of industry, consumers, and other interested parties."