Commissioner Neelie Kroes indicated that she sees no need to pursue MasterCard for non-compliance, that MasterCard's cross-border multi-lateral interchange fees were in breach of EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices.
MasterCard decided to apply a new methodology to its MIF for cross-border transactions which will result in a substantially reduced average weighted MIF level. Following the new methodology, the maximum weighted average MIF per transaction will be reduced to 0.30% for consumer credit cards and to 0.20% for consumer debit cards. Moreover, MasterCard has agreed to withdraw as of July 2009 the increases of its scheme fees imposed in October 2008.
Finally, MasterCard has agreed to change its system rules as of July 2009 in order to increase transparency and competition in the payment cards market. Implementation of these changes will be closely monitored in the coming months.
MasterCard will, as of July 2009, calculate the cross-border MIF according to a methodology which ensures that MIFs reflect the transactional benefits to merchants of accepting payment cards as opposed to cash. It will, as of July 2009, repeal the scheme fee increases it announced in October 2008.
MasterCard will also, as of July 2009, adopt certain measures enhancing the transparency of its scheme which will allow consumers and merchants to make better informed choices about the means of payment they use and accept.
In view of the changes to be made Competition Commissioner Kroes does not intend to propose to the Commission to pursue MasterCard either for non-compliance with the Commission's 2007 decision, or for infringing the anti-trust rules by increasing its scheme fees or by reintroducing a cross-border MIF.
As regards Visa's behaviour on the payment cards market, the Commission will continue its anti-trust investigation and will monitor the behaviour of other market players to ensure that competition is effective in this market to the benefit of merchants and consumers.
Remarks Commissioner Kroes
© European Commission
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