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Interchange Fees - MasterCard

Related Lawyers: Anthony Maton, Nicola Boyle, Wessen Jazrawi
Related Practice Areas: Competition Litigation

In 2007, the European Commission (“EC”) issued a decision against MasterCard Europe SPRL and its two US parent companies finding that MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fee (the “MIF”) was an unlawful restrictive business practice in breach of EU competition law. 

The Cartel

From at least 1992 until December 2007 Mastercard’s MIF was unlawfully applied to: (a) cross-border card payments with MasterCard and Maestro branded debit and consumer credit cards in the EEA; and (b) domestic card payments in several European Economic Area (“EEA”) states which adopted the MIF. It was also found to have acted as a floor for domestic interchange fees where they were separately negotiated in a particular Member State. There have also been a number of regulatory investigations by national competition authorities regarding domestic interchange fees in several countries across Europe.

Our Actions

Hausfeld, along with Spanish alliance law firm Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira, brought proceedings on behalf of a group of leading European organisations against MasterCard before the High Court in London in December 2012. If your organisation accepted MasterCard cards between 1992 and 2007, then it can recover damages from the members of the cartel.