Mastercard faces antitrust charges

European Union accuses Mastercard of violating its antitrust laws by artificially raising cost of card payments

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The European Union (EU) filed antitrust charges against the world's second largest credit and debit card network on Thursday for allegedly hiking costs of card payments in Europe.

"We have concerns both in relation to the rules MasterCard applies to cross-border transactions within the EU, as well as the fees charged to retailers for receiving payments made with cards issued outside Europe," said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement.

This is not the first time the EU filed charges against the US based credit card company over fees as it already has an ongoing investigation which was previously opened three years ago.

The European Commission's main case is to cut fees and boost-border trade as it believes that Mastercard sets “artificially high minimum price for processing transactions" in the EU, breaching antitrust rules.

In response Mastercard said "We will be formally responding to the statement of objections and are also working with the European Commission on the issue as part of an ongoing constructive dialogue."

Mastercard also added that "Throughout this procedure we have kept the needs of both consumers and merchants in mind and aim to further encourage the uptake of electronic payments inside and outside the European Union."

If the probe is confirmed, Mastercard could pay fines of up to 10 percent of global annual revenue and may need to change its business practices.

TRTWorld and agencies