Australian banks can’t collectively barter with Apple over contactless payments

Australia will bar its banks from collective bargaining with Apple over access to the tech giant's contactless payments. That could set a global precedent, Reuters notes. 

The move will stop the banks from creating their own apps for contactless payments to rival Apple Wallet -- advantageous for the banks, in saving transaction fees and holding customers within their own apps longer. In July 2016, Australia's three biggest banks — including the top lender, National Australia Bank — 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 were seeking to be able to negotiate jointly for access to Apple's phones without themselves being accused of violating anti-competition law. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australia’s anti-trust regulator, has denied the request.