The consumer, once king, is missing in the EU interchange fee debate

David Evans, Dec 10, 2012

When the European General Court’s MasterCard Judgment came down my wife and I were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary with a long-planned trip to Sicily. Even though I was curious, and EU court decisions are most riveting, I decided to stick with a Nesbo mystery novel for my beach reading. Recently, the OECD asked me to attend a gathering of competition authorities to discuss developments in the payments industry. The time for procrastination was over. I ploughed my way through the Court’s 336 paragraphs and refreshed my memory of the European Commission’s decision.

I discovered there was a mystery here too: the European consumer, once the King served by EU competition authorities, has disappeared. Before I get to the consumer’s curious disappearance, I’ll provide a review of the Commission’s decision and the Court’s judgment.

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