Official Journal of the European Union

C 222/6

Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 2 April 2020 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Kúria — Hungary) — Gazdasági Versenyhivatal v Budapest Bank Nyrt. and Others

(Case C-228/18) (1)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Competition - Agreements, decisions and concerted practices - Article 101(1) TFEU - Card payment systems - Interbank agreement fixing the level of interchange fees - Agreement restricting competition ‘by object’ and ‘by effect’ - Concept of restriction of competition ‘by object’)

(2020/C 222/05)

Language of the case: Hungarian

Referring court


Parties to the main proceedings

Appellant: Gazdasági Versenyhivatal

Respondents: Budapest Bank Nyrt., ING Bank NV Magyarországi Fióktelepe, OTP Bank Nyrt., Kereskedelmi és Hitelbank Zrt., Magyar Külkereskedelmi Bank Zrt., ERSTE Bank Hungary Zrt., Visa Europe Ltd, MasterCard Europe SA

Operative part of the judgment


Article 101(1) TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding the same anticompetitive conduct from being regarded as having as both its object and its effect the restriction of competition, within the meaning of that provision.


Article 101(1) TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that an interbank agreement which fixes at the same amount the interchange fee payable, where a payment transaction by card takes place, to the banks issuing such cards offered by card payment services companies operating on the national market concerned cannot be classified as an agreement which has ‘as [its] object’ the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition, within the meaning of that provision, unless that agreement, in the light of its wording, its objectives and its context, can be regarded as posing a sufficient degree of harm to competition to be classified thus, a matter which is for the referring court to determine.

(1)  OJ C 231, 2.7.2018.