Tuesday, March 4, 2008

MasterCard appeals EU decision on card charges transaction fees on cross-border

MasterCard Inc is the second- biggest payment-card network had been asked by the European Commission on December 19 to revise how it calculates the fee, charged to a retailer’s bank for every card transaction. The fee must not inflate consumer card costs, the regulator said. The MasterCard had appealed to a European Union decision forcing it to change the way it charges transaction fees on cross-border credit card payments so as to avoid consumer price increases that the decision failed to consider the fairness of its fees.

“Market forces, not regulation, should drive key decisions such as the setting of interchange fees and retailers' choices over which forms of payment to accept,” Javier Perez, president of MasterCard Europe, said on Monday in a statement. “Left unchallenged, and especially if followed by national regulators, the commission’s decision would not only be bad news for consumers but a blow to the European payments industry.”

Louise Herbert, a spokeswoman at MasterCard Europe said the company had filed its appeal on March 1 with the Luxembourg- based European Court of First Instance, the EU’s second-highest court. The court has the power to fully or partly annul the EU order. Its ruling can be appealed to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.

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