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Revision of Commitments of Two Settlement Agreements at the Request of Rapyd Europe hf

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  • Case number: 12/2024
  • Date: 5/6/2024
  • Company:
    • Rapyd
  • Sectors:
    • Financial services
  • Policy Area:
    • Other
  • Summary

    In the wake of the acquisition by Rapyd Financial Network (2016) Ltd. (hereafter "Rapyd") of Valitor hf., cf. the Icelandic Competition Authority's (“ICA”) decision no. 13/2022, ‘The Merger of Rapyd and Valitor', commitments that Valitor hf. had made in prior settlements with the ICA became the commitments of Rapyd Europe hf., a subsidiary of Rapyd in Iceland. The commitments entail that Rapyd Europe must adhere to certain behavioural conditions and maintain certain organizational structure in its activities.

    Rapyd Europe requested a revision by the ICA of the commitments of two older settlement agreements. That review has now been completed, with the company having made a new comprehensive settlement with the ICA based on the two older settlements.

    All commitments of the two older settlements that are considered by the ICA to be still relevant now appear in the new comprehensive settlement agreement, the wording has been updated and a separate article containing definitions of terms has been added. Consequently, as the new settlement agreement takes effect, all the obligations of these older settlement agreements are invalidated, since the obligations of old settlements that remain relevant are stated in the new comprehensive agreement.

    The two older settlement agreements that have been revised are, on the one hand, a settlement dated December 15, 2014, between Valitor hf. (now Rapyd Europe) and the ICA, cf. decision no. 8/2015, ‘Changes to the organization and implementation in the payment card market'. On the other hand, a settlement dated November 29, 2007, between Greiðslumiðlun hf. (later Valitor hf. and now Rapyd Europe) and the Competition Authority, cf. decision no. 4/2008, ‘Violations of Greiðslumiðlun hf., Kreditkort hf. and Fjölgreiðslumiðlun hf. of the Competition Act'.

    Since these prior settlements were made, the basis of some of the commitments has changed in such a way that various provisions in the settlement agreements are no longer relevant. The commitments in question are mainly ones based on the ownership structure that has completely changed, ones that have been affected by the implementation of the EU‘s Regulation on Interchange Fees for Card-based payment transactions, and commitments that are affected by various developments in Rapyd Europe's market environment in other respects. In the opinion of the ICA, it is therefore both relevant and appropriate to reshape the settlement agreement in the way that has now been done by gathering together the provisions that are still relevant into a new overall settlement agreement. This approach enables the ICA to create a clearer framework for the competition interests that need to be protected. On that basis, the new framework is conducive to making the ICA's monitoring more efficient and promoting closer adherence to the obligations.

    In terms of content, the new comprehensive settlement is primarily intended to ensure that Rapyd Europe cannot enjoy a competitive advantage in the market/markets for payment acquiring in Iceland based on its role as a card issuance processor for various major banks in the country. The commitments of the settlement that are not directly aimed at this goal are generally conducive to strengthening the competitive foundations of the market in light of the aforementioned role of Rapyd Europe in the field of issuance processing.