MasterCard Faces Investigation Over Fees

by Christopher Freeburn | April 9, 2013 10:13 am

MasterCard MC[1]European regulators are scrutinizing fees MasterCard (NYSE:MA[2]) charges to merchants and card users in Europe[3].

MasterCard is already dealing with a number of lawsuits in the United Kingdom over fees charged on cross-border sales. European retailers have complained that the fees restrict commerce and that higher fees for premium cards violate European regulations, Bloomberg notes.

A number of large European banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS[4]) and HSBC (NYSE:HBC[5]) are part of MasterCard’s network in Europe, the second largest payment network on the continent.

The impact of the fees on consumers will be reviewed by the European Commission. Also under examination are MasterCard policies that require merchants to accept all of the company’s cards and added services.

MasterCard defended its practices, saying it takes into account the interests of retailers and shoppers when establishing fees. It indicated that it would cooperate with the Commission’s investigation.

Shares of MasterCard fell 1% in Monday morning trading.

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