MasterCard Appeal on Card Fees to Be Heard by EU Court on July 4Stephanie Bodoni
MasterCard Inc.’s challenge at the European Union’s highest court seeking to overturn an EU decision that the company’s cross-border card fees breach antitrust rules will be heard next month.
The EU Court of Justice set July 4 as the date for the oral hearing in the case, according to a filing on the court’s website today. The case at the Luxembourg-based court may affect the future of card-payment systems in Europe. MasterCard lost a first court appeal and in August took its fight to the top EU court.
The EU General Court, the bloc’s second-highest, last year backed the European Commission’s 2007 decision that MasterCard’s levies unfairly inflated the transaction fees paid by retailers for processing payments. The second-biggest card network, supported by banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, previously argued that the so-called multilateral interchange fees are crucial for sharing the costs of debit and credit card payments.
The Brussels-based commission started a new probe into Purchase, New York-based MasterCard this year, looking at bank fees on foreign card payments such as when tourists go shopping in the 27-nation bloc. The levies -- and other possible practices including higher fees for traders accepting so-called premium cards aimed at affluent customers -- may be anti-competitive, slowing down cross-border business and harming customers through higher prices, the commission said in April.
The case is: C-382/12 P MasterCard and Others v. Commission.