BACKGROUND AND REGULATORY CONTEXT
Alexander Gee (DG COMP)
Alexander Gee started the conference by summarizing the broader developments in relation to MasterCard and Visa. In April 2009, following the European Commission’s (“EC”) prohibition decision in 2007, MasterCard offered undertakings reducing MIFs for cross-border transactions to 0.2 % for debit cards and 0.3 % for credit cards. MasterCard stated before the EC that it is already complying with the commitments and will continue to do so. In 2013 the EC opened a second investigation against Master- Card in relation to inter-regional MIFs and cross-border acquiring. In the Visa proceedings the EC accepted two sets of commitments which essentially mirror the MasterCard commitments. However, as stressed by Mr. Gee, the difference between the Visa and MasterCard commitments is that, in addition to reducing the MIFs for crossborder transactions to 0.2 % for debit cards and 0.3 % for credit cards, the Visa commitments also cover domestic MIFs where set directly by Visa Europe as well as cross-border acquiring.