EU Launches Antitrust Probe of MasterCard Fees

EU Launches Antitrust Probe of MasterCard Fees

The European Commission has begun an investigation regarding the fees MasterCard charges consumers for card transactions made while visiting Europe.

According to the BBC, the European Commission, the antitrust regulator of the European Union, said some of the firm's "inter-bank fees and related practices may be anti-competitive." Debit and credit card payments made by visitors to the European Economic Area will be the center of the investigation. This includes the 27 members of the European Union plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The Commission will also examine the company’s restrictions on merchants that want to save money by using banks outside their own country.

If found guilty, MasterCard could face fines up to $740 million, the equivalent of 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.

MasterCard joins rival Visa in being targeted by the EU for similar practices.