“EU’s McCreevy Pushes for New Payment Card Schemes” (via Reuters)

January 28, 2008

Click here to read entire (Jan 28) article by Reuter’s Huw Jones.


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MasterCard Expected to Appeal EU Ruling: The Financial Times

December 18, 2007

According to The Financial Times (Dec 18), ” Mastercard is widely expected to launch an appeal if, as expected, the European Commission finds that its interchange fees on cross-border payments breach competition rules in a decision due to be announced on Wednesday.”

Click here to view entire article.

MasterCard Interchange Fees Are Illegal: EU Ruling Expected to Announce Next Week

December 14, 2007

According to Thompson Financial News (Dec 14) [click here to read article], next week the European Commission will rule that MasterCard’s charges are illegal and violated the law. According to the report, “[t]he commission has longed feared that interchange fees, set at around 1 per cent per purchase, paid by retailers’ banks to card-issuing banks, are being abused to collect the highest rate of return.”  Interchange rates for the identical services in the U.S. are nearly double the charges in Europe.

[Source, via Thompson Financial]

“EU’s Kroes Warns Banks on Payments” (via AP)

December 7, 2007

EU Antitrust Chief Warns That New Bank Payment System Should Not Cost Customers More.  The EU’s antitrust chief Neelie Kroes warned banks on Monday that a new payment system should not be allowed to cut down choice or increase costs for customers.

Regulators have criticized the high level of these fees, saying card networks like Visa, MasterCard and American Express have failed to explain why they need to charge so much for handling payments.

Click here to read article.

[via AP]

European Interchange Reform Delayed (via Reuters)

November 15, 2007

According to Reuters, the expected EU proposals for interchange fees has been delayed. It was to be released any day, but will now occur within the next few weeks, or perhaps not until next year. We hope this was not caused by Visa’s planned IPO. Could you imagine if the offering took place prior to this important ruling – investors would be denied the opportunity to fully understand its impact.  From our U.S. prospective, can you imagine the anguish from European merchants and consumers who are forced to pay upwards of 1.0% in merchant fees?  Then again, the rates in the U.S. are 70% higher than that, which raises the reoccurring question of why have the member banks and card associations been able to (as we assert) illegally fix prices and artificially charge such sky-high rates? 

[Commentary: WayTooHigh.com, via Reuters report]