Europe Ready To Slash Credit Card Fees, Calls MasterCard's Anti-Slash Effort A "Mad Campaign"

The European Union's financial services commissioner, Michel Barnier, is ready to hand about $8 billion a year back to retailers by capping interchange fees on credit and debit cards. The new rules would cap interchange at 0.3 percent for credit card transactions and 0.2 percent for debit cards, and are aimed at Visa (NYSE:V) and MasterCard (NYSE:MA), which dominate card payments in Europe as they do in the U.S. Interchange reduction itself is a big enough deal, but on Thursday (July 25) Barnier took time to single out MasterCard's "mad campaign" against the proposal. "Before we had any idea what our proposal was going to be, I was bombarded in the papers," Barnier said, citing ads made to look like news articles and questionable studies. "I found this campaign to be quite counter-productive and unacceptable." Ah, those understated Belgians. Story