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The European Commission issues preliminary results of its sector inquiry into payment cards industry raising competition concerns

"Preliminary results of Commission sector inquiry in payment cards industry raise competition concerns"*1. Introduction The payment cards industry is of growing economic importance in Europe. Cards increasingly replace cash and cheques as payment means for over the counter purchases. In 2004 a total of 23 bn. card payments were made in the EU with an overall value of € 1.350 bn. Retailers paid an estimated € 25 bn. in fees to banks for accepting cards. Consumers pay fees for card usage, interest for the use of credit facilities and money exchange fees which can add up to considerable sums. In its Communication of 2 February 2005 to the Spring European Council on a new start for the Lisbon strategy, the Commission endorsed a more pro-active application of competition policy, in

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Magdalena Brenning-Louko, Lukas Repa, Antonio Carlos Teixeira, Tanya Panova, The European Commission issues preliminary results of its sector inquiry into payment cards industry raising competition concerns, 12 April 2006, e-Competitions Bulletin April 2006, Art. N° 36599

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