OFT Issues Statement Of Objections On Visa Agreement

The OFT has issued a statement of objections against Visa and its members which it reports include most major banks regarding an agreement on its domestic multilateral interchange fee (MIF) applicable to consumer credit card, charge card and deferred debit

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The OFT has issued a statement of objections against Visa and its members–which it reports include most major banks–regarding an agreement on its domestic multilateral interchange fee (MIF) applicable to consumer credit card, charge card and deferred debit card transactions in the UK.

The OFT says its view is that the collective agreement between Visa and its member banks on the interchange fee charged between card issuing banks and merchant acquirers, on Visa card transactions taking place in the UK, restricts competition and infringes Article 81 of the EC Treaty and the Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act.

The OFT believes that the Visa MIF agreement leads to an unduly high fee being paid to card issuing banks by merchant acquirers on every Visa transaction. The cost of these fees is passed on to retailers and ultimately to consumers.

The OFT is accepting written and oral representations parties now have an opportunity to make written and oral representations to the OFT.

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