Mastercard Fined In The UK For Cartel Behaviour In Prepaid Cards Market

The Payment Systems Regulator in the UK has fined Mastercard, allpay, Advanced Payment Solutions, Prepaid Financial Services and Sulion as they were found to infringe competition law by agreeing not to compete or poach each other's customers in the prepaid cards market in Great Britain. The PSR has imposed fines totalling more than 33 million pounds for each party's participation. Mastercard was fined 31.56 million pounds.

The decision concludes the PSR's investigation that was opened in October 2017 following a complaint made by allpay. The pre-paid cards in question were used by local authorities to distribute welfare payments to vulnerable members of society. All parties settled and admitted breaking the law, the PSR noted.

"This case is particularly serious because the illegal cartel behaviour meant there was less competition and choice for local authorities. This means they may have missed out on cheaper or better-quality products which were used by some of the most vulnerable in society," Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the Payment Systems Regulator, stated.

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