search icon Hamburger icon Times icon Caret Down icon Quote Left icon Facebook icon Linkedin icon Linkedin icon box twitter icon Google plus icon Youtube icon Angle Left Icon Angle Right Icon Download Icon Hubspot Icon Align Justify Icon Angle Down Icon home Icon check Icon check Icon

Antitrust Actions Investigation

Mastercard

European Commission fined Mastercard EUR 570 million for obstructing merchants’ access to cross-border card payment services
SHARE

On 22 January 2019, the European Commission fined Mastercard in relation to its scheme limiting the possibility for retailers to benefit from lower bank fees available in other countries in the European Economic Area (“EEA”), in breach of European antitrust rules.

Mastercard levies a so-called interchange fee on credit and debit card transactions between a cardholder’s bank (the “issuing bank”) and a retailer’s bank (the “acquiring bank”). Until 9 December 2015, interchange fee rates varied considerably between EEA countries. Mastercard’s scheme obliged acquiring banks to apply the interchange fees of the country where the retailer was located. The European Commission concluded that by doing this, Mastercard deprived merchants of the benefits of cross-border competition by forcing them to pay (higher) fees set by their local banks.

Mastercard acknowledged its infringement of European antitrust rules and agreed to settle the case with the European Commission. The European Commission’s decision constitutes binding proof that Mastercard’s anticompetitive behaviour took place and was illegal. As explicitly stated in the Commission’s press release, any person or firm affected by anti-competitive behaviour as described in this case may bring the matter before the courts of the Member States and seek damages.

Companies that received debit or credit card payments through Mastercard between February 2014 and December 2015 may seek recovery for the losses they suffered as a result of this infringement. Interested parties who carried out significant volumes of Mastercard transactions are invited to provide information and evidence of their transactions to Deminor.

Company name

Mastercard (Mastercard Incorporated, Mastercard International Incorporated and Mastercard Europe SA)

Relevant period

27 February 2014 until 8 December 2015

Contact persons

✉️ Charles Demoulin
✉️ Felix von Zwehl
✉️ Florine Verhaegen
✉️ Jasmin Hansohm

Further reading

Trucks cartel

Trucks cartel

Deminor invites those who purchased or leased medium (between 6 to 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons) to join a group action aimed at ...

Read more
European government bonds

European government bonds

On 31 January 2019, the European Commission announced that it had sent Statements of Objections to eight banks suspected of having participated in ...

Read more
Newsletter