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MasterCard loses EU court battle over fees

September 11, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s highest court has thrown out an appeal by MasterCard against a decision by the bloc’s antitrust authority to scrap some of its fees charged to merchants.

The ruling by the 28-nation bloc’s Court of Justice on Thursday closes MasterCard’s seven-year-old battle against a decision made by the EU’s competition watchdog.

The judges in Luxembourg confirmed a 2012 ruling against by a lower EU court, saying the relevant fees cannot be seen as “objectively necessary” since the card system remains “capable of functioning without those fees.”

The so-called multilateral interchange fees on every card transaction were retained by the card-issuing bank and charged to merchants.

MasterCard is based in Purchase, New York.

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