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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Visa Europe appeals EC decision

Visa Europe Ltd. is appealing the European Commission's decision to reject its request to modify its debit interchange rates, according to General Court documents published Dec. 10, 2012. Visa Europe is asking the General Court, the European Union's second highest court, for the EC decision to be annulled. The EC is the EU's competition watchdog.

In 2010, Visa Europe agreed to cap debit card multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) at 20 percent to settle an antitrust complaint brought by retail trade association EuroCommerce. In July 2012, the EC denied Visa Europe's request to change the cap.

That same month, the EC informed Visa Europe its consumer credit and debit card MIFs may violate EU antitrust rules by restricting competition among banks. The EC also notified Visa Europe its MIF rules may be in violation of European antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices.

In appealing the rejection of its cap request, Visa Europe is alleging the EC violated the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights "by not providing Visa Europe with the opportunity to effectively make known its views on the relevant facts and on the Commission's objections." end of article

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