Two years ago in Seville, Spain, at the most recent of Europay International's big membership conventions, Europay and MasterCard seemed to be playing out some sort of sibling rivalry.

Reconvening last week on the French Riviera, in the resort renowned for its annual film festival, the bank card affiliates and marketing allies engaged in a veritable love-fest, having buried the suspicions and recriminations that had threatened to distract them from more important competitive pursuits.

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