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President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has announced that Margrethe Vestager, formerly Danish Minister of Economic Affairs, will be the new Competition Commissioner.
The ECJ has dismissed the appeal by MasterCard and cross-appeals by Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group against the judgement of the General Court which upheld the European Commission's 2007 decision finding that MasterCard's EEA fall-back multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) infringed Article 101(1) of the TFEU.
The ECJ confirmed the Commission's view that MIFs are a restriction of competition since they limit the pressure which merchants can exert on acquiring banks when negotiating the costs charged by those banks and that MIFs are not objectively necessary to operate the MasterCard system.
The ECJ also agreed that MasterCard had produced insufficient evidence that MIFs create efficiencies that are passed on to consumers.
The ECJ has upheld the appeal by Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (GCB) against the General Court judgment which upheld the European Commission’s 2007 decision that the pricing measures adopted by GCB were contrary to Article 101.
The General Court had upheld the Commission’s conclusion that the pricing measures at issue restricted competition because of their anti-competitive object.
However, the ECJ held that the General Court had erred in upholding this conclusion. The ECJ has therefore annulled the judgment of the General Court and referred the case back to it so that it may examine whether the measures at issue could be prohibited on account of their anti-competitive effects.
This article was written by Paul Stone.
For more information please contact Paul on +44 (0)20 7203 5110 or email@example.com.