Brussels, 12 June 2008
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Irrespective of MasterCard's move to temporarily repeal its cross-border MIF , the Commission will continue to be open to assess any new proposals from MasterCard concerning systems to ensure both efficient payments and a fair share of the benefits for consumers and retailers".
The Commission's December 2007 decision (see IP/07/1959) found that MasterCard's MIF infringed Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty because it constituted a restrictive business practice that increased retailers' costs without leading to a more efficient outcome, and could not meet the exemption criteria under Article 81(3) because MasterCard had failed to show that its MIF benefited consumers and merchants.
During the six months since the Commission's decision, MasterCard has failed to come forward with an alternative MIF that meets the exemption criteria of contributing to technical or economic progress while allowing consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit. Failure to comply with the Commission's decision before 21 June 2008 would have meant that MasterCard risked daily penalty payments. MasterCard has therefore informed the Commission that it has chosen to temporarily repeal its cross-border MIF for consumer cards while it continues to search for a MIF for which MasterCard can demonstrate that the exemption criteria of Article 81(3) are met.