BRUSSELS The European Commission, the policymaking body of the European Union, said Friday that it will no longer object to certain fees imposed by Visa International on merchants banks.
Last year the commission formally complained to Visa that its fee system, which makes merchants pay a percentage of Visa card transactions, constituted a price-fixing arrangement that violated EU competition laws.
The commission said it was dropping its complaint in response to Visas recent pledge to bring the fees down and to make the system more transparent. These interchange fees vary among merchants but tend to be higher than 1% of card transactions. Visa said it would lower them to 0.7% over the next five years.
Its a compromise, but its one that we believe our members will be prepared to accept, Hans van der Velde, the president of Visa EU, said in a news release.
In the same notice addressing interchange fees, the European Commission approved other Visa rules, including the honor all cards rule being challenged in a class action by U.S. merchants against Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International.