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Dutch Tell Banks To Go Dutch Instead Of Going Steady With MasterCard

Posted  May 27, 2011

MasterCard is discovering that Dutch competition authorities may be serious in their goal to increase competition in the payments market by encouraging banks not to go “steady” with MasterCard.

MasterCard is reporting in its 10-Q report that the Netherlands Competition Authority is challenging its co-branding and co-residency rules, which restrain banks from expanding their relationships with other payment systems.

According to MasterCard, the co-branding rules at issue can prohibit “financial institutions licensed by MasterCard from placing other payment systems’ brands on MasterCard cards.”  The challenged co-residency rules can prohibit “financial institutions from encoding other payment systems’ applications on the electronic ‘chip’ in MasterCard cards.”  A hearing on the matter was held on April 14, 2011.

This challenge comes after the Netherlands Competition Authority released its Vision Document on the Payments Market in December 2010.  In that statement, the Dutch authorities expressed the view that they would “like to see banks conclude contracts with payment systems other than MasterCard.”

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues,