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Antitrust: Commission publishes study on the application of Interchange Fees Regulation

The European Commission has published a study on the application of the Interchange Fees Regulation (“IFR”) for card-based payment transactions. The study, which was commissioned by the Commission to an external contractor, finds that the main objectives of the Regulation have been achieved, as the interchange fees for consumer cards have decreased by 35% (around EUR 2,6 bio. per year) between 2015 and 2017. This decrease has resulted in lower charges for retailers as well as benefits to consumers through lower retail prices. Furthermore, increased cross-border acquiring services and card transactions have led to a higher degree of market integration.

The main objectives of the Regulation, which entered into force in 2015, were to address the collectively agreed interchange fees for cards and card-based payment transactions, which were highly diversified, elevated and non-transparent. These fees represented an obstacle to Single Market integration and created distortions of competition, including higher costs for retailers and consumers.

As envisaged by the IFR, later this year the Commission will submit a report on the application of the Regulation itself to the European Parliament and to the Council. The study will be one of the sources of information for the report, together with stakeholders' feedback and evaluations from competent national enforcement authorities.

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_442

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