Visa Europe Gets EU Antitrust Complaint on Credit-Card Fees
Source: Bloomberg News
Visa Europe Ltd., operator of the European Union’s largest payment-card network, was sent an antitrust complaint from EU regulators over the fees it charges to process cross-border credit-card payments.
Visa Europe’s so-called multilateral interchange fees “harm competition between acquiring banks, inflate the cost of payment card acceptance for merchants and ultimately increase consumer prices,” the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement today.
Card fees paid by retailers are “too high” and there isn’t any sign that they’ve decreased since 2006, the EU’s competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in May. Regulators last year settled an earlier probe into Visa Europe’s fees for debit-card payments made outside a user’s home country.
Visa Europe can defend itself in writing or seek an oral hearing before EU regulators take a decision on fines that can amount to 10 percent of yearly sales. Visa Europe split from Visa Inc. (V) before the U.S. card company’s initial public offering in early 2008.
1. Yeah, I order seeds and stuff from other countries
and I get a 10% additional charge every time I use VISA. So, if Visa loses and has to pay 10% of their yearly sales, it will be simply the cost of doing business. They are charging 10% extra, the fine is a mere 10%, so it's a wash.