Saturday, June 24, 2006

MasterCard's® Media Machine" (

Was it just us, or did others also notice the immediacy of MasterCard's® news release? It celebrated the recent UK Office of Fair Trade scrapping of its probe into whether past transaction fees charged by MasterCard® were too high.

The appearance is that the mighty and costly pack of public relations and media hirelings for the card association swooped down and feasted on this like the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.

This news captured their glee. But, while the giant credit card company addressed abandoning one aspect of the OFT case, the fact is that it is not over. While MasterCard® drew attention to the probe over previous transactions, the OFT will continue to investigate.

According to news reports, OFT Chief Executive John Fingleton said: 'We still believe that collectively agreed interchange fees go against the principles and letter of competition law and are harmful to consumers, who see higher prices as a result of these fees.' Mr Fingleton added that the OFT intended to use the basis of the original case to tackle credit card interchange fees as a whole, rather than waste resources on pursuing one company's previous fee. The OFT continues to investigate.