MasterCard temporarily repeals fees, EU says
Bowing to pressure from the European Union,
MasterCard has agreed to temporarily repeal the fees that it applies on
cross-border transactions as from June 21, 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 December 19, MasterCard was given six months to withdraw the fees - which range from 0.4 per cent to 1.20 per cent of the value of the transaction - or face daily fines worth 3.5 per cent 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 reported.