November 14, 2006

EU investigates Mastercard & Visa

by Brian Turner

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The European Union is investigating the credit card industry, to determine whether fair practices are being applied in Europe.

Currently US firms Mastercard and Visa dominate the industry, and the EU is trying to determine if these are undermining potential rival companies with their fee structures.

While any potential action from an investigation are a long way off, this could be a significant first step to a sea change in credit card processing in Europe.

At present most ecommerce sites try to ensure they can transact payments by the big card companies – so if the EU determines that other card companies require due leverage then this could cause confusion.

Additionally, in the event that there are significant new players in the credit card industry, merchants will need to ensure that third-party payment processors are able to handle them.

We await the results of this investigation with interest.

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