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MasterCard begins challenge of 2007 EU decision

MasterCard Inc. is challenging a 2007 European Union decision on its cross-border consumer interchange fees that required the company to repeal its intra-EEA fallback interchange fees.

MasterCard told the EU law court that it couldn’t operate without the fees it charges on credit card payments, according to Bloomberg.

"We're asking: Why is the commission trying to fix what isn't broken? MasterCard Europe president Javier Perez said, according to Finextra.com. "The market is moving fast and in ways that no one – including regulators – can easily predict. We're concerned that government intervention threatens the continued development of payments in the EU."

The commission began examining interchange fees in 2000. Since then, much has changed in the payments industry, including increased competition and innovations such as contactless, mobile and e-commerce payments that are driven by retailers, banks and other companies in the field.

"We welcome these new developments and are competing harder than ever before in this rapidly changing environment," Perez said, according to Finextra.com. "We're pleased that we had our day in court and we look forward to the end of this dispute so that we can focus all of our attention on creating an advanced, well functioning internal market for payments in Europe."

The court’s decision may be appealed at the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The 2007 EU rules are not the only threat to MasterCard and Visa’s control on cross-border debit card payments in Europe. The European Central Bank is currently pushing for the creation of a third bank-backed scheme in order to increase competition, according to Finextra.com.

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