National Competition Law Report – Q1 2007 - Switzerland

Author:Mr Silvio Venturi
Profession:Tavernier Tschanz
 
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Investigations

Enquiry into Practices of Telekurs in the Payment Terminals Market

Telekurs Multipay provides services permitting the payment of goods and services by credit and debit card. A feature of such services is "Dynamic Currency Conversion" or "DCC". This permits the immediate conversion of payment amounts into another currency (i.e. a currency that is more familiar or convenient to the customer, such as that of his or her credit card statement). Unlike with ordinary credit card payments in a currency other than that of the holder's monthly credit card statement, DCC allows the card holder to know the proposed exchange rate and the converted final amount as it will appear on his or her monthly statement.

On 17 January 2007 the ComCo launched an enquiry into Telekurs Multipay's refusal to provide interface information to support the DCC function on payment terminals equipment furnished to merchants by competitors of its sister-company, Telekurs Card Solutions.

The ComCo had proposed to adopt provisional measures directing Telekurs to provide the necessary interface information to competitors of Telekurs Card Solutions to support the DCC function. But Telekurs took the initiate provisionally to provide such access. In view of this, the ComCo will refrain from adopting the proposed provisional measures, but the enquiry will continue.

Ferraro

The ComCo has terminated its enquiry into the prices the Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero charged the Swiss supermarket chain Migros for Kinder brand milk chocolate bars produced by Ferrero. The ComCo took this termination decision on 9 February 2007 upon receiving confirmation that Ferrero had come to an agreement with Migros, with the help of the ComCo, to lower the prices it charged Migros for this chocolate product by 22%.

In 2005, when Ferraro refused to lower the price for Kinder milk chocolate bars to that which it applied to sales of this product to Migros' German outlets, Migros Switzerland began ordering the product from Ferraro's German distributor. Ferraro Germany rapidly began declaring that it was out of stock, and could not fill Migros Switzerland's orders. The latter then launched a copy of the Ferraro product, at a substantially lower price. It also complained to the ComCo that the real reason why Ferraro Germany was not filling Migros Switzerland's orders was that Ferraro's distributors were practising absolute territorial protection, prohibiting even...

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