The Polish Antimonopoly Office (UOKIK) has decided to ban the Multilateral Interchange Fee (MIF) and to impose fines of 160 million Polish zloty (approximately 41 million euros) on the banks participating in the cartel. As a result, merchants should only be paying for the costs of processing the payment transaction to their bank. The interchange fee, paid by the acquiring bank to the issuing bank, represents over 80% of the merchant service charge. “This is excellent news”, says Xavier Durieu, Secretary General of EuroCommerce. “It is an important step towards fair, transparent and competitive pricing in Poland, and a great progress for all other merchants; we trust that this decision will be followed by other competition authorities in Europe”. According to EuroCommerce, the decision by Poland to ban the MIF has to be viewed in the worldwide context of an increasing stand against anti-competitive practices by banks and card schemes.
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