MasterCard temporarily repeals fees, EU says
MasterCard has agreed to temporarily repeal the fees that it applies on cross-border transactions as from 21 June.13 June 2008
BRUSSELS - Bowing to pressure from the European Union, MasterCard has agreed to temporarily repeal the fees that it applies on cross-border transactions as from 21 June, EU officials said Thursday.
While the European Commission had taken "note" of the announcement, a statement from the EU executive said the move should be permanent, unless the company can prove that such fees are beneficial.
"Irrespective of MasterCard's move to temporarily repeal its cross-border multilateral interchange fees (MIFs), the commission will continue to be open to assess any new proposals from MasterCard concerning systems to ensure both efficient payments and a fair share of the benefits for consumers and retailers," said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.
On 19 December, MasterCard was given six months to withdraw the fees - which range from 0.4 percent to 1.20 percent of the value of the transaction - or face daily fines worth 3.5 percent of the company's daily global turnover.
MasterCard's decision also affects its Maestro-branded debit and consumer credit cards.
In March, the EU commission launched a separate anti-trust probe into rival Visa Europe Ltd to find whether its MIFs are fair.
[dpa / Flickr contributor liewef / Expatica