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The Credit Cards (Price Discrimination) Order 1990

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order)

On and after 7th March 1991, this Order makes it unlawful for any person to make or carry out any agreement relating to credit cards to the extent that it imposes or requires the imposition of a “no discrimination rule”. A “no discrimination rule” prohibits merchants from charging different prices to those who pay by credit card rather than by another means of payment. All such existing agreements must be terminated before 7th March 1991.

The Order does not make unlawful a requirement to limit differences in price to the amount of the merchant service charge imposed with respect to the reimbursement for supplies made on the production of a credit card.

The Order also applies to other payment cards which bear a trade or service mark associated with a credit card, which do notbear a mark registered in the European Economic Community and borne by (and only by) a type of payment card which is not a credit card, and which are not readily distinguishable from a credit card.

Merchants are not required by this Order to charge different prices for credit card transactions nor are payment card organizations or their members required to limit differences in price.

The Order does not apply to agreements to which the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 applies.

Copies of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission Report on Credit Card Services are available from Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (Cm 718) at a price of £1420.

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