Competition supervision procedure initiated against MasterCard Europe Sprl
The Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH - Hungarian Competition Authority) has initiated a competition supervision procedure against MasterCard Europe Sprl for an alleged abuse of a dominant position.
The GVH noticed that MasterCard Europe Sprl (hereinafter MasterCard) is supposedly in a dominant position on the Hungarian market of cards, as in addition its 75% of shares on the market concerned, its sole competitor, Visa is facing a pricing barrier regarding debit cards as a result of the competition proceeding conducted by the European Commission.
In contrast to this, MasterCard does not have to face the pricing barriers that Visa does and therefore, it is presumed that the prices (multilateral interchange fees) applied by MasterCard are sufficient for disclosing competitors.
The GVH suspects that MasterCard has presumably violated, by this conduct, Article 21 of the Hungarian Competition Act with regard to the prohibition of abuse of dominance, and moreover, Article 102 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.
The initiation of the competition supervision proceeding does not mean that the undertaking in question has actually committed the infringement. The proceeding seeks to clarify the facts and to thus prove that the presumed infringement has been committed. According to the Act these proceedings must be closed within 6 months, however, this time limit can be extended two times by a further 6 months, depending on the complexity of the case.
Case number: Vj-46/2012.
Budapest, 3 August 2012
Hungarian Competition Authority