The European Commission (Commission) has decided that MasterCard’s multilateral interchange fees (MIF) for cross-border payment card transactions within the European Economic Area violate Article 81(1) EC Treaty because it inflates the base on which acquiring banks charge retailers for accepting credit and debit cards. To benefit from exemption, any negative impact on competition must be outweighed by contribution to technical and economic progress and benefits to consumers. Following a four year investigation, the Commission concluded that MasterCard’s MIF harmed businesses and their consumers by overly inflating retail prices. MasterCard failed to demonstrate that the positive effects on innovation and efficiency outweighed the negative effects on price competition. MasterCard has six months to withdraw the fees or else face daily penalty payments equivalent to 3.5 per cent of its daily global turnover for the preceding business year.