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Australia overturns Apple cart

17 August 2015 by News Desk

finance_iPhoneA Battle of the Giants has broken out down under as major banks seek to prevent Apple launching financial services in Australia.

US-owned Apple wants to launch its Apple Pay service in Australia and cash-in on the fast-growing online payments market. But the country’s ‘Big Four’ banks are seeking to stop them, fiercely protecting the $2 billion a year they earn from the market via merchant interchange fees.

What started out as a dry corporate move by Apple soon turned into a slug-fest with each side seeking to punch above its’ legal and financial weight. Behind-closed-doors talks have now broken down.

While the banks consult more lawyers, Apple is preparing to throw its’ vast corporate wealth into the fight. It has a market capitalisation of $660bn (US) plus a ready cash pile of $200bn – double the size of Australia’s biggest company, Commonwealth Bank, at ‘only’ $100bn (US).

Now the Australian banks have a second battle on their hands after Apple announced plans to launch on the Australian bond market.

Industry observers believe it’s only a matter of time before someone does a deal to break the deadlock, and that the NAB is close to striking a deal with Apple Pay, allowing the US-owned company to target iPhone users and enter the mobile and online payments market.

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