Monday, 5 September 2016

Apple stays in the payments picture

Apple, good products, horrible company…The EU ruling that Apple must pay over $14 billion in back taxes to Ireland has been hogging the headlines, but the tech giant’s increasingly hostile face off with Australia’s banks is equally as compelling a story. In a nutshell, all of Australia’s big banks (except ANZ which is rolling out Apple Pay) are looking to gain access to the inner workings of the mobile payment platform. If successful, third parties would be able to bypass Apple Pay and create their own apps.

Apple has countered by arguing this would compromise the iPhone’s security, reduce innovation and hamper its entry into the Australian payments market. It told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that “allowing the banks to form a cartel to collectively dictate terms to new business models and services would set a troubling precedent and delay the introduction of new, potentially disruptive technologies”.

Apple, unlike Google and Samsung, is all about their cartel being bigger than your's. That’s the Apple way, take it or leave it. I’m siding with the banks on this one, although it seems unlikely that they will emerge victorious. The company’s reaction to the aforementioned EU bombshell (why should the mighty Apple pay a fair rate of tax? Outrageous!) was bad enough, but labelling others control freaks? Please. Is there another company more control freaky than Apple? I’m struggling to think of one.

Scott Thompson
Senior Editor
IBS Journal

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