Credit card firm seeks agreement with Commission on fees imposed on retailers.
The European Commission today (26 April) took a major step towards reaching an agreement with credit card company Visa on the fees it can impose on retailers.
In March 2008, the Commission launched an antitrust investigation into multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) because of concerns that Visa and its affiliated banks colluded to keep them artificially high. It reached a preliminary decision in April 2009 that the fees “restrict competition…without benefiting consumers”, and break EU antitrust rules.
A spokeswoman for Joaquín Almunia, the European commissioner for competition, said the commissioner had received an offer from Visa to cut the fees, and was putting this out for consultation with interested parties – a sign that he believes the offer could resolve the Commission’s competition concerns.