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EU: Mastercard fined US$650M for breaking antitrust laws

 |  January 22, 2019

The European Commission has fined US payment system Mastercard €570 million (US$648 million) for limiting the possibility for merchants to benefit from better conditions offered by banks established elsewhere across the EU.

“By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other Member States, Mastercard’s rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers in the EU,”Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement on Tuesday, January 22.

Brussels found that until December 2015, the payment system’s rules made acquiring banks apply the interchange fees of the country where the retailer was located, instead of allowing them the benefit of lower interchange fees offered in another member of the 28-state bloc.

“This led to higher prices for retailers and consumers, to limited cross-border competition and to an artificial segmentation”of the market, according to the Commission’s investigation.

Full Content: Europa Press & Wall Street Journal

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