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NZ watchdog accuses card providers of price fixing

NZ watchdog accuses card providers of price fixing

(13 November 2006 - New Zealand) The New Zealand Commerce Commission has begun legal action against 11 financial institutions for anti-competitive interchange fees on credit cards. Among those targeted by the watchdog are Visa, MasterCard and the country’s four main trading banks.

New Zealand retailers are unable to recover the fees they are charged by credit card providers, which can be up to 1.8 percent of each credit card transaction.

"The Commission does not allege any collusion between Visa and MasterCard. The alleged price fixing is between Visa and its shareholder financial institutions, and between MasterCard and its member financial institutions," the Commission said.

Visa International executive vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Bruce Mansfield, said the move by the Commerce Commission was "serious and disappointing".

"We will defend the system that continues to deliver major benefits to all New Zealanders," he said.
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