Friday, July 21, 2006

Commission takes on Cartes Bancaire

This press release clarifies that the Commission sent a new Statement of Objections to the ‘Groupement des Cartes Bancaires’ (CB) on 19th July 2006. In its new Statement of Objections the Commission takes the preliminary view that ‘Groupement des Cartes Bancaires’ restricted competition between member banks by adopting tariffs which hinder the issuing of cards by new entrants at a reduced price, thereby preserving the revenues and market shares of incumbent banks to the detriment of consumers.

IMHO this signifies that the Commission does not seriously believe that its sector enquiry into cards will get them anywhere. They know that the sector enquiry shook up the cards market, but getting so much criticism as to method and outcome, the Commission has decided stick with its old role: pursue violations of competition law on a case by case basis.