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Credit cards push up prices in the EU

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13/04/2006

Credit card and debit card fees increase prices by up to 2.5% in some parts of the EU, according to a report from the European Commission (EC).

Some cardholders pay up to double in annual fees for a Visa or Mastercard depending on where they live, and the fee the banks levy on transactions varies widely across Europe. This situation led the EC to comment that the card market lacked competition.

“The payment cards industry in Europe remains national and some local players are preventing competition from developing,” said Neelie Kroes, the EU’s competition commissioner.

Max Saddoff of the European Centre for Economic Affairs said: “I wonder if we require EU-wide legislation for anyone to become interested in this matter.”

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