EU: Amex loses its final appeal

American Express lost a fight against having EU card fee caps applied to its system in the UK after a ruling by the bloc’s highest court. The European Union’s Court of Justice handed down judgments in two cases brought by American Express on Wednesday,  February 7, ruling that the firm’s co-branded card offerings are subject to the bloc’s interchange fee regulations.

The decision means that the implicit interchange fee on the British Airways, Starwood, Nectar, Costco and Harrods American Express cards must be capped at 0.3%.  American Express Gold, Platinum, Business Gold and Business Platinum will remain uncapped.

The Court  held that where a three party payment card scheme enters into a co-branding arrangement or an arrangement with an agent, that scheme must be considered to be a four party payment card scheme, and consequently the interchange fee caps laid down by the regulation are applicable to it.

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