Fabian Demicoli

ECJ judgment on MasterCard:a great victory for Europe’s consumers and retailers


The European
Court of Justice has yesterday upheld the Commission's 2007 decision on
MasterCard's multilateral interchange fees, wholly rejecting the card scheme's
appeal. Following this ruling, the adoption of proposed regulation for open,
transparent and lower card fees for all payment users must be a priority.

EuroCommerce, the original
complainant in the MasterCard case and a party throughout the proceedings,
wholly welcomed the opinion and trusts that it will provide great impetus to
the Council and Parliament to proceed quickly with the proposal for EU
Regulation which should bring great benefits for European commerce and all
consumers.

The ECJ affirmed all the
findings of the General Court, holding in particular that the interchange fees
could not be regarded as ‘objectively necessary' as ‘the system was still
capable of functioning without these fees.'

GRTU is very pleased with this
decision and augurs that MasterCard will re-assess its fees, not only
cross-border but at national level also. We call on the regulators to move
swiftly to adopt the proposed EU Regulation by the end of this year. Indeed, we
see the ruling as giving support to the European Parliament's extension of the
original Commission proposals. We urge the Council to follow the Parliament's
excellent lead.

In particular, GRTU calls on
the Council and Parliament to:

set interchange fee caps at 0.2% for
debit and 0.3% for credit as an absolute maximum, with the option for member
states to set lower or fixed caps;

include a fixed cap of maximum 7
cents for debit transactions;

include commercial cards in the fee
caps and;

implement both
domestic and cross-border fees within 6 months.

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