|Bernhard Mors MasterCard Worldwide +32 2 352-5057 or +32 498-58-5057|
|Barbara Gasper Investor Relations +1-914 249-4565|
MasterCard Takes Action on Intra-EEA Cross-Border Consumer Interchange Fees
Complies with EC Decision, Appeal to Continue
On announcing MasterCard’s decision, Javier Perez, President, MasterCard Europe, said:
“We said in December that although we strongly disagree with the European Commission’s decision, we would comply with it. At the same time, we have solid legal arguments supporting our appeal of the decision to the European Court of First Instance, and we will continue to vigorously pursue that appeal. MasterCard’s policy is to comply with all applicable decisions and regulations, but to challenge them through appropriate channels when we believe that is necessary.
“MasterCard believes that its cross-border interchange system has kept the cost of payment cards low for cardholders, and if left unchallenged the Commission’s decision will be bad news for European consumers.
“We trust that the Commission does appreciate that some level of interchange is necessary to share costs among all participants in a payment system that operates across Europe and the world. However, despite our having made several proposals to reduce substantially cross-border consumer interchange fees, we have not yet reached an understanding with the Commission services on future steps. Therefore, in order to ensure our compliance with the decision, we have taken this action while we continue discussions with them.
“Although we are complying with the June 21 deadline, it’s important to keep in mind that this decision only applies to intra-EEA cross-border consumer card interchange fees. The level of these fees in the future will depend on the result of our continuing dialogue with the Commission and, ultimately, upon the outcome of MasterCard’s appeal. Moreover the transactions affected amount to less than five percent of MasterCard Europe volume, and we do not anticipate any significant near-term financial impact as a result of today’s action. Nor do we anticipate being disadvantaged versus other four-party payment systems, in light of the Commission’s stated intention to apply the logic of the decision to all similar systems.
“We remain committed to taking the necessary steps to continue providing a system that benefits millions of European cardholders and merchants who rely on MasterCard and Maestro cards, and to providing our customers with competitive payments products and services.”
For further information on MasterCard’s position on the European Commission’s decision, go to: www.mastercard.com/us/company/en/newsroom/ec_decision.html. To learn more about interchange, go to: http://www.mastercard.com/us/company/en/ourcompany/interchange.html
About MasterCard Europe
MasterCard Europe is responsible for managing MasterCard Worldwide business in Europe - for Europe. With headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, MasterCard Europe does business in 51 European countries organized administratively into three customer areas, incorporating the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), mature markets and the developing markets of Europe, stretching as far afield as the eastern border of Russia. Through its network of local offices, MasterCard Europe can understand and meet the diverse needs of customers in the very different types of markets throughout Europe, enabling people to do business in their own way in their own language.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.
Forward-Looking Statements – United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements in this press release which are not historical facts, including statements about MasterCard’s plans, strategies, beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking and subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Accordingly, except for the company’s ongoing obligations under the United States federal securities laws, the company does not intend to update or otherwise revise the forward-looking information to reflect actual results of operations, changes in general economic or industry conditions, changes in financial condition, changes in estimates, expectations or assumptions or other circumstances arising and/or existing since the preparation of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of any unanticipated events. Such forward-looking statements include, without limitation:
- the likelihood that the company can reach an understanding with the Commission services on future compliance steps so that the reduction of consumer cross-border interchange fees to zero percent is only temporary;
- the strength of the company's appeal on legal and economic grounds;
- the company's ability to have its products remain competitive and continue to benefit millions of European cardholders and merchants; and
- the likelihood that the European Commission will apply the logic of the decision to all similar systems and that the company will not be disadvantaged versus other four-party payment systems.
Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements for a number of reasons, including those set forth in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K that have been filed with the SEC during 2008. Factors other than those listed above could also cause the company’s results to differ materially from expected results.