A Belgian Court dismisses alleged anticompetitive agreement and abuse of dominant position on the electronic payment card market on the basis of both Art. 81/82 EC while using documents communicated by the EC Commission on the basis of Art. 15 Reg. 1/2003 (Master Card / Visa Card)

Background Electronic payment card schemes involve two basic operators : the “issuing bank”, which is a credit institution, and member of a card scheme, that has a contractual relationship with a cardholder for the provision and use of a card of that card scheme ; and the “acquiring bank”, which is credit institution or other undertaking, and member of a card scheme that has a contractual relation with a merchant. Acquiring banks have to pay an interbank fee called a “multilateral interchange fee” (hereinafter “MIF“) to the issuing banks for each transaction carried at the point of sale of a merchant with a payment card of the issuing bank scheme. Generally, acquiring banks pass on the MIF to the merchants. On 24 July 2002, the European Commission reviewed under the EC competition rules the

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Jacques Derenne, Thibault Balthazar, A Belgian Court dismisses alleged anticompetitive agreement and abuse of dominant position on the electronic payment card market on the basis of both Art. 81/82 EC while using documents communicated by the EC Commission on the basis of Art. 15 Reg. 1/2003 (Master Card / Visa Card), 29 September 2006, e-Competitions Bulletin September 2006, Art. N° 13611

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