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EU fines MasterCard $648 mn for artificially raising costs of card payments

Credit card payments have been a target of EU antitrust enforcement for nearly two decades

Bloomberg 

MasterCard credit cards are seen in this illustrative photograph. Photo: Reuters
MasterCard credit cards are seen in this illustrative photograph. Photo: Reuters

Inc. was fined 570.6 million euros ($648 million) by the for imposing rules that regulators said may have artificially raised the costs of card payments in the region.

The European Commission said unfairly prevented retailers from seeking cheaper rates from banks outside the country where they are based. MasterCard’s curbs on cross-border acquiring ended when the introduced legislation in 2015. The EU’s probe started in 2013 and escalated with a statement of objections two years later.

last month set aside $650 million to cover the fine, less than a potper cent1 billion euros it flagged as a possibility in 2017. The company got a 10 percent fine reduction for cooperating with the EU, regulators said.

payments have been a target of antitrust enforcement for nearly two decades.

MasterCard and Visa Inc. are separately seeking to settle another EU probe into fees charged for tourists shopping in Europe, which would see them avoid fines. MasterCard has also been sued by retailers seeking compensation after an earlier EU investigation found their cross-border payment fees unfairly restricted competition.

First Published: Tue, January 22 2019. 18:16 IST
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