EU Competition Law Update: Major Financial Service Fined
The EU has recently fined a Major Financial Service over the breaching of Antitrust laws.
The Financial Service provider, ‘Mastercard’ was fined £502 Million for blocking merchants from seeking better conditions in other parts of the bloc’s ‘Single Market’.
The fine derived from the investigation opened by the European Commission in 2013 based upon the Mastercard’s ‘interchanging fees’ of a country where any given retailer is based.
Predominantly, the investigation was based upon the accusation that the use of ‘interchanging fees’ was in breach of EU Competition Laws. This is because by applying different fees to different countries, the EU Commission argued that this meant that most companies would not benefit from lower prices in other states.
Furthermore, because of the breach, the EU Commission further argued that a limited cross-border competition arose, as well as a ‘artificial’ segmentation of the Single Market and higher prices applicable to retailers and consumers all round.
By co-operating with the EU Commission, Mastercard was offered a ten percent reduction in the fee, which upon payment would close the investigation altogether.
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