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Interchange Fees as a Mechanism to Raise Rivals' Costs - Some Evidence from Switzerland

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  • Samuel Rutz

Abstract

In 2004 the Swiss Competition Commission (ComCo) opened an investigation concerning multilateral agreed interchange fees in the Swiss credit card market which ended with an amicable settlement. The most important element of this amicable settlement consists in the limitation of the interchange fee to the actual network costs of the issuers. In this paper I discuss whether there was a market failure in the Swiss credit card market which justified the intervention by ComCo and whether the remedies imposed in the amicable settlement eliminated the alleged market failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Rutz, 2010. "Interchange Fees as a Mechanism to Raise Rivals' Costs - Some Evidence from Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(II), pages 507-532, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2010-ii-4
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    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2010-II-4.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, Bruno, 2003. " Chicken & Egg: Competition among Intermediation Service Providers," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 309-328, Summer.
    2. Chakravorti Sujit, 2003. "Theory of Credit Card Networks: A Survey of the Literature," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, June.
    3. Stuart E. Weiner & Julian Wright, 2005. "Interchange fees in various countries : developments and determinants," Proceedings – Payments System Research Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue May, pages 5-49.
    4. Roson Roberto, 2005. "Two-Sided Markets: A Tentative Survey," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-19, June.
    5. Evans David S., 2003. "Some Empirical Aspects of Multi-sided Platform Industries," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-19, September.
    6. Schmalensee, Richard, 2002. "Payment Systems and Interchange Fees," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 103-122, June.
    7. Jean-Charles Rochet & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Cooperation Among Competitors: Some Economics Of Payment Card Associations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 549-570, Winter.
    8. Hunt Robert M., 2003. "An Introduction to the Economics of Payment Card Networks," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-17, June.
    9. Wright, Julian, 2003. "Optimal card payment systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 587-612, August.
    10. Baxter, William F, 1983. "Bank Interchange of Transactional Paper: Legal and Economic Perspectives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 541-588, October.
    11. Rochet Jean-Charles & Tirole Jean, 2003. "An Economic Analysis of the Determination of Interchange Fees in Payment Card Systems," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-11, June.
    12. Rochet Jean-Charles, 2003. "The Theory of Interchange Fees: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust; payment systems; interchange fees; two-sided markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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