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Payment rates by Visa or Mastercard will be reduced again

These rates apply, for example, when an American tourist uses a MasterCard or Visa card to pay a surcharge to a restaurant in Belgium.

The acquiring bank passes them on to the retailer that integrates it, like any other cost, into the final price billed to all consumers, even those who do not use the card.

The reduction, coupled with a decision last January on Mastercard's international card payments, will lead to lower prices for European retailers, which will ultimately benefit all consumers, said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Monday. responsible for competition policy.

The Commission is the first competition authority in the world to intervene in such committees, she notes.

In particular, the EU executive feared that these rates would lead to an anti-competitive price increase by European retailers and, consequently, an increase in the prices of consumer goods and services in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The commitments, which will be applied for five years and six months, refer to "interregional exchange rates" applied to payments made with Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and V-PAY credit and debit cards. .

Twelve years ago, since December 2007, the Commission has gradually set a ceiling on exchange rates. Three months ago, it imposed a € 570 million fine on Mastercard for limiting merchants' ability to benefit from better terms offered by banks established in other parts of the single market, in violation of the competition rules of the market. the EU.

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