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Australia to bar banks from bargaining collectively with Apple over payments

An Apple logo is seen in a store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's competition regulator on Friday said it would bar a group of the country's largest banks from bargaining collectively for access to Apple Inc's contactless payment function, potentially setting a global precedent.

The decision, the first of its kind, will stop the banks from introducing their own mobile applications on devices like the iPhone and Apple Watch that could be used for contactless payments instead of the Apple Wallet.

That would have enabled banks to circumvent transaction fees and get customers to engage more frequently with their own apps, potentially unlocking more of Australia's contactless payment market.


(Reporting by Jamie Freed, editing by G Crosse)