BRUSSELS, April 9 (Reuters) - EU regulators are investigating whether MasterCard's card fees for non-European cardholders and related business practices block competition in breach of EU antitrust rules.
"The inter-bank fees are generally passed on to the merchants, leading to higher overall fees for them. Ultimately, such behaviour is liable to slow down cross-border business and harm EU consumers," the European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.
The EU competition authority said the investigation would also focus on MasterCard's rules which hamper merchants from benefiting from better terms offered by other banks and which also force merchants to accept all types of MasterCard's cards.
The Commission said it planned to propose rules on card fees before the summer to ensure a level playing field.