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UK Regulator Fines Mastercard, Others For Prepaid Cards Cartel

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Five payment companies, including Mastercard, were fined a total of 33 million pounds ($45.01 million) by the UK’s payments regulator on Tuesday for cartel behavior involving prepaid cards supplied to vulnerable individuals on welfare assistance.

The enormous fine of 31.56 million pounds ($43.04 million) was levied against Mastercard. Allpay, Advanced Payment Solution, Prepaid Financial Services, and Sulion were among the other firms punished.

According to the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), the companies violated competition law by agreeing not to compete or recruit each other’s customers on prepaid cards used by state municipalities to disburse welfare payments to the disadvantaged.

According to the regulator, the cartel meant that beneficiaries of the cards, including the homeless, victims of domestic violence, and asylum seekers, may have lost out on cheaper or better-quality goods.

In March of last year, the PSR stated that preliminary findings would result in fines for the five organizations. It said on Tuesday that the probe was complete.

During the investigation, all of the parties settled and acknowledged infringing the law, according to the regulator.

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