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On 22nd June 2005 the Danish Competition Council adopted a decision concerning PBS A/S (Pay-ment Business Services Ltd.)

22. juni 2005

3/1120-0204-0208/ISA/FAB The Council meeting 22nd June 2005

On 22nd June 2005 the Danish Competition Council adopted a decision concerning PBS A/S (Pay-ment Business Services Ltd.).

The decision was based on an investigation made by the Danish Competition Authority in January and February 2005 concerning fees on the Danish payment card named Dankort.

During this investigation the Competition Authority discovered that PBS A/S had introduced an IT-system to the financial institutions for the purpose of administration of agreements with merchants concerning acquiring. This IT-system was named “BasisPakken”.

“BasisPakken” contained among other things 5 standard settings. In one of these settings the Dankort fee was beforehand set to the maximum value of 0.50 DKK.

The Competition Council concluded that the relevant product market was the market of Dankort. Further, the Competition Council concluded that “BasisPakken” constituted an agreement in the sense of competition law.

However, the Council did not find that the agreement had as effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition between the financial institutions. Among other things the Council argued (i) that the financial institutions easily could change the forehand set Dankort fee of 0,50 DKK, (ii) that 98 % of the financial institutions in some way de facto adjusted “BasisPakken”, and (iii) that the setting of the Dankort fee assumable depended on other things than an IT-system (e.g. the finan-cial institution’s general fee policy).

Therefore, the Council concluded that PBS A/S did not infringe the Danish Competition Act.