BRUSSELS Feb 14 Europe's antitrust regulator
will accept Visa Europe's offer to cap its inter-bank credit
card fees at the same level as rival MasterCard, with the
decision expected to be announced within weeks, two people
familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Visa Europe, Europe's largest card payments company which is
owned and operated by more than 3,000 European financial
institutions, proposed last year to cut the charges levied on
retailers to 0.3 percent of the value of each transaction.
The offer came after the European Commission told the
European licensee of Visa Inc that such fees were
anti-competitive and resulted in higher consumer prices, putting
it at risk of a hefty fine.
"The Commission is expected to accept Visa Europe's
commitments. A decision is imminent," said one of the people who
declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The EU competition authority said last year that the
company's proposal was for cross-border fees in Europe and
domestic charges in 10 EU countries including Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, Ireland and Hungary, and valid for four years.