The credit card provider Mastercard has to pay due to high customer charges a fine of 570 million euros. This is the EU Commission informed. Accordingly, the company dealers had prevented to benefit from better conditions offered by banks from other countries in the EU internal market. As a result, the costs for the customers are increased. Mastercard had violated antitrust rules.
Background of the so-called interchange fees, in the case of a purchase between the Bank, such as a super market and the money the house of the customer is due. The dealer Bank may transfer to the retailer, makes it into the final price. The costs are ultimately passed on to all consumers – even to those who don’t shop with a credit card.
“The European consumer use of payment cards every day, if you buy food or clothes or something on the Internet order. The rules of Mastercard have prevented traders to take better conditions offered by banks in other member States” said EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “So the cost of card-driven payments at an artificially high level, to the detriment of the consumers and the retailers in the EU.”
The EU Commission that the provider was in the process, until 2015 and is in violation of EU antitrust law. According to the regulations of the company, the dealer banks had to apply, until then, the charges of the country in which the retailer was located.
The inter-Bank fees have been offset by the end of 2015 in Europe. Until then, they differed considerably from country to country. Traders in EU countries with high tariffs were therefore forced to charge higher costs.
The authorities in Brussels concluded that this led to an artificial restriction of the EU internal market and to a restriction of the cross-border competition.
According to the EU-Commission had accepted Mastercard the violations. The penalty was reduced to ten percent.