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EU’s Almunia Says Internet Should Shun ‘Inefficient’ Payments

Internet retailers should avoid using the “inefficient” and costly payments systems used by banks and card networks, said the European Union’s antitrust chief.

“We need to avoid importing the issues that afflict the cards market into the new payment instruments” that includes using mobile phones to purchase goods, said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in a speech in Brussels today.

The Brussels-based regulator is investigating whether a group of banks shut out a rival payment provider from talks to create standards for online payments. This follows earlier probes into Visa Europe and MasterCard Inc. (MA) into the fees they charge on card payments made outside a user’s home country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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