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Alleged coordinated behaviour in the market for optional services to the SEPA DD payment system

Lear assisted a major Italian bank in proceedings before the Italian Competition Authority related to the payment mechanism for the new Additional Optional Service SEDA. The allegation of the Italian Competition Authority was that eleven banks and the main banking association had coordinated to avoid a remuneration mechanism based on a multilateral interchange fee and had adopted a new mechanism – “1 to many” – able to reduce competitive pressure. The Italian Competition Authority claimed that the “1 to many” mechanism prevented the decrease in prices put forward by the Payment Services Directive. Lear’s economists were retained to show lack of any effect due to the alleged agreement and to help shape the defensive strategy by identifying inconsistencies in the economic arguments of the Italian Competition Authority.