The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds that the multilateral interchange scheme fee payment scheme was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and was therefore illegal (MasterCard / Sainsbury)

Background In 2016 the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) of the United Kingdom held that the payment scheme operated by MasterCard was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and so infringed Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”). In particular, it was held that the setting of the Multilateral Interchange Fee, which was set by MasterCard pursuant to the MasterCard Scheme Rules, was a restriction of competition by effect under Article 101(1) [1]. The Interchange Fee is the amount retained by Issuing Banks when they transfer funds from the Cardholder to the Merchant’s account via an Acquiring Bank [2]]. The total amount deducted from the Merchant is the Merchant Service Charge (MSC), of which over 90% is the Interchange Fee. It

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  • RBB Economics (London)

Quotation

Benjamin Thomas, The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal holds that the multilateral interchange scheme fee payment scheme was an agreement or decision of an association of undertakings and was therefore illegal (MasterCard / Sainsbury), 4 July 2015, e-Competitions Bulletin July 2015, Art. N° 83572

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