BRUSSELS: Landmark Ruling Against Mastercard After 20-Years of Payment Fees ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – September 12 – Mastercard has lost its legal battle with the European Commission over payment fees following a ruling by the European Court of Justice.

Master Card loses 20 Year Battle over Payment Fees - 2014-09-11T115146Z_1_LYNXMPEA8A0JJ_RTROPTP_3_MASTERCARD_original

The verdict on Thursday (11 September) threw out the firm’s appeal against a commission decision dating back to 2007, in which the EU executive ordered Mastercard to repeal its cross-border card fees.

The fees – known as “multilateral interchange fees (MIFs)” – are paid between the banks of a retailer and customer every time someone pays for items by card. The fee is charged to the retailer’s bank who, in turn, normally factors it into the price paid by consumers.

At present, average fees range from around 0.2 percent in Denmark and the Netherlands, to over 1 percent in Germany, Hungary, and Poland, raking in around €6 billion per year to credit card giants across the bloc.

In its judgement, the EU court found that the fee structure could not be described as being “objectively necessary” as the system was “still capable of functioning without those fees.”

There was also an “absence of … appreciable objective advantages” to either retailers or consumers from the system.

The court ruling comes more than 20 years after the commission originally launched proceedings against Mastercard in 1992.

Antoine Colombini, the Commission competition spokesman, described the ruling as “a big win for European consumers who for too long have been paying unjustifiably hidden fees”.

Javier Perez, the president of Mastercard Europe said it would have “little or no impact on how MasterCard operates,” although he conceded that it was “disappointing”.

But the ruling was welcomed by consumer and retail groups.

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` Police Raided Journalists Homes and Offices of Aller-Media ‘

#AceFinanceNews – COPENHAGEN – May 14 – Police raided the journalists’ homes and the offices of Aller Media, just  over a week after charging a man for supplying gossip magazine Se & Hoer with  confidential information from an on-line payment company.

Aller-Media
One of the men was Ken B. Rasmussen, a former journalist at Se & Hoer who  last month released a purportedly fictional book detailing how the magazine used private credit card information to write stories about members of the  royal family.

Se & Hoer scoops included Denmark’s Prince Joachim’s 2008 honeymoon in  Canada, a story which baffled the tabloid competition at the time since it had  been kept secret.

 The credit card transactions of former Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke  Rasmussen were also said to have been monitored. Actor Mads Mikkelsen is among  a handful of celebrities who have made allegations against Aller Media to the  police.

Copenhagen police said it had searched the offices of Ken B Rasmussen’s  book publisher but added that the company was not suspected of any wrongdoing.

In what has been dubbed “Denmark’s biggest media scandal”, observers have  drawn parallels with Britain’s News of the World, which was shut down by Rupert  Murdoch in July 2011 following allegations of widespread phone hacking.–AFP

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`Dong Energy Deal’ Collapses with `Investment Bank Goldman Sach’s’ amid `Fears’ of Using Tax Havens’

#AceFinanceNews says `Denmark PM Re-Shuffles Cabinet Over Goldman Sachs Deal’

Dong EnergyDenmark’s prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, announced a cabinet reshuffle on Monday after her coalition collapsed over a deal involving US investment bank Goldman Sachs, AFP said.

Six ministers from the centrist Socialist People’s Party left the government Thursday over the controversial sale of a stake in state-controlled utilities giant Dong Energy to a group of investors led by the bank.

GS_vampireSquidThe deal sparked an outcry amid fears Goldman Sachs could use tax havens to administer their holding in Dong. Critics also said the investment bank had been given unusually favorable terms. Nearly 200,000 people signed a petition protesting the sale.

 

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