In an announcement made today, the European Commission stated that it will pursue suspicions of Debit Card suppliers of price-fixing in order to keep prices high. Reported by Challenges, the accusations may bear a penalty of up to 10% of the revenue of the suppliers if proven true. This lays just another brick in the wall that has been payments innovation in Europe, While online payments have begun to thrive – we just announced Leetchi’s new online payments integration MangoPay last week – it seems that the old world banking system still has some catching up to do.
The European Commission is becoming the de facto economics controller in Europe, having penalized Microsoft for its IE/Windows Monopoly, as well as taking the lead on the Google competition dispute. While there is still a chance the European Commission will find these allegations false, or, more likely, that it won’t find enough information to prove them true. it is certainly a sign of the changing climate in Europe, which bodes well for startups who are trying to slip through the cracks left by the seismic plates which are incumbents.