Teller has abused its dominant position by using rebates conditional on exclusivity and provisions regarding exclusivity

29. August 2018

On the 29th of August 2018 the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) ruled in a case concerning Teller’s (a merchant acquirer) abuse of dominant position by use of rebates conditional on exclusivity and provisions regarding exclusivity. Teller’s agreements with some of the company’s largest customers contained provisions which had a loyalty enhancing effect and could foreclose competitors’ access to the market.

The DCC has decided that Teller abused its dominant position in the period from 2012 to 2016 by using conditional rebates and/or provisions regarding exclusivity. The DCC has decided that Teller must cease the illegal conduct.

Until 2016 Teller was a subsidiary in the Nets-group. Teller was in December 2017 merged with the group-company Nets Denmark A/S and was hereafter branded as Nets. Teller was in the relevant period the largest acquirer of international payment cards in Denmark and was dominant on the Danish market for merchant acquiring services and mobile payment solutions for POS payments. An acquirer is necessary in order for a store or other business to accept payment cards. The store in question pays the acquirer a fee per transaction – and the acquirer enables the transfer of money from the customer’s account and to the store’s account.

Teller has not documented that it is justified that Teller’s agreements in question contained provisions and rebates capable of anti-competitive foreclosure.

The DCC has also decided to submit the case to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime.

The decision made by the DCC will be published at a later stage as the question regarding confidentiality has not yet been resolved.