European Commission opens investigation into standardization of e-payments

On 26 September 2011 the European Commission announced that it opened an investigation into the standardization process for payments over the internet (e-payments).

The investigation concerns standardization undertaken by the European Payments Council (“EPC”), a coordination and decision making body of the European banking industry.  The EPC is involved in the creation of an integrated payments market under the Single Euro Payments Area project endorsed by the European Commission.

The Commission intends to investigate whether the standardization process unduly restricts competition by. For instance, the Commission will investigate whether the payment system excludes new entrants and payment providers who are not linked to a bank. [Juha Vesala]