Hungary's antitrust regulator has fined the local units of Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., as well as OTP Bank Nyrt. and six other lenders there, saying they colluded on fees charged to credit card customers.
Visa and MasterCard were fined the equivalent of $2.6 million each, according to a statement e-mailed Thursday by the country's Competition Office, known as GVH. OTP, Hungary's biggest lender, was fined $1.5 million.
Local banks involved in the case are alleged to have reached an agreement with Visa and MasterCard in 1996 under which they paid the same fees to both credit card companies, limiting competition, GVH said.
The card companies charged different fees prior to 1996 and after 2008, when the agreement was scrapped, the regulator said.
MasterCard and OTP said they plan to appeal.
Officials at Visa and the other banks were not available to comment immediately after the GVH announcement.