The EU’s competition authorities have condemned Mastercard due to high levels of customer charges to a fine of 570 million euros. The EU Commission announced on Tuesday in Brussels.

Mastercard is issuing the same credit cards and the payment card Maestro. The high fees are created as follows according to information from Brussels, such as:

When consumers use in-store, or on the Internet, a credit card, then the Bank of the merchant to the Bank of the card holder pays a fee: the so-called interchange fee. The merchant’s Bank passes this fee is often up to the dealer. This, in turn, it then sometimes in the final price. The costs are passed on ultimately to all consumers, including those shopping with credit card.

The company said have detained dealers to benefit from better conditions offered by banks from other countries in the EU internal market, the EU-Commission. “So the cost of card-driven payments at an artificially high level,” said EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “To the detriment of the consumers and the retailers in the EU.”

Further actions can was follow

The EU Commission, according to Mastercard by 2015 against EU antitrust law. According to the former regulations of Mastercard and the merchant banks had to apply the charges of the country in which the retailer was located. Traders in EU countries with high tariffs were therefore forced to charge higher costs.

by the end of 2015 have been aligned with the inter-Bank fees in Europe. The Problem with the high fees fell away after that.

Mastercard have given their own Offense, meanwhile, informed the EU Commission. Therefore, the penalty had been reduced by ten percent. The Commission mentioned, however, that individuals and businesses who were affected by the anti-competitive behavior could sue in the individual EU member States to court for damages.

The EU Commission determined, moreover, furthermore, in the case of purchases that are made in non-European credit cards in Europe, against Mastercard. Mastercard, and the affected provider, the Visa offered in December, to lower these fees.

The Bank charges for purchases in Europe with non-European credit cards are not capped. The competition authorities gave the example of an American tourist who pays for a meal in Belgium by card. The authority fears that the charges to the prices for the final consumer. A decision could meet you in the next few weeks.

ssu/dpa/Reuters