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Relating to a proceeding under Article 81 of the EC Treaty (IV/34.010 - Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken (1991 GSA agreement), IV/33.793 - Nederlandse Postorderbond, IV/34.234 - Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeversbedrijven and IV/34.888 - Nederlandse Organisatie van Tijdschriften Uitgevers/Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging) (notified under document number C(1999) 2056) (Only the Dutch text is authentic)
Article 2

Article 2 — This Decision is addressed to: De Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken Singel 236 NL - 1016 AB Amsterdam

Done at Brussels, 8 September 1999.

For the Commission


Member of the Commission

  1. OJ 13, 21.2.1962, p. 204/62.
  2. OJ L 148, 15.6.1999, p. 5.
  3. OJ 127, 20.8.1963, p. 2268/63.
  4. OJ C 273, 9.9.1997, p. 12.
  5. The NVB notified the 1991 GSA agreement on behalf of its members, but it is not a party to the agreement. It signed the agreement to acknowledge that it had been apprised of the contents.
  6. Complaint of 21 January 1991 (Case IV/33.793).
  7. Complaints of 7 June 1991, 13 September 1991 and 10 February 1992 (Case IV/34.234).
  8. Joint complaint of 21 October 1993 (Case IV/34.888).
  9. Letter from the NVB dated 25 March 1997 (file 34.010, p. 711) and letter from ABN AMRO dated 11 February 1999.
  10. Letter from Rabobank dated 17 February 1999.
  11. Letter from ING dated 17 February 1999.
  12. Letter from the Nederlandse Spaarbankbond dated 18 February 1999.
  13. Letter from the NVB's lawyer dated 27 March 1997 and letter from Interpay dated 18 February 1999.
  14. Several banks are currently perfecting more advanced image technology to replace optical reading systems. Since the beginning of 1996 payees wishing to receive an acceptance giro document back after processing (users of acceptance giros with many attachments) have been sent image prints of acceptance giros converted into electronic data (Interpay 1996 annual report).
  15. Letter from Interpay dated 18 February 1999.
  16. Parts of this text have been edited to ensure that confidential information is not disclosed; those parts are enclosed in square brackets and marked with an asterisk.
  17. Letter from ING Bank dated 17 February 1999.
  18. See footnote 8, the letter from Interpay dated 18 February 1999 and the letter from ING Bank dated 17 February 1999.
  19. See footnote 8.
  20. The process of bringing the banks' payment circuits via Interpay and the Postbank circuit closer together culminated in 1997 in the setting-up of the national payment circuit (Nationaal Betalings Circuit) (NVB 1998 annual report).
  21. Clarifications to the notification of 10 July 1991 and supplementary clarifications of 17 September 1991.
  22. Letter of 14 October 1997 (file 33.793, p. 794).
  23. OJ L 43, 14.2.1997, p. 25.
  24. Commission notice on the definition of the relevant market for the purposes of Community competition law (OJ C 372, 9.12.1997, p. 5).
  25. BGC 1993 annual report, Interpay 1996 annual report, letter from Interpay dated 18 February 1999.
  26. Interpay 1996 annual report, pp. 30-31.
  27. The drawee bank and payee bank may be one and the same, in which case the transaction is an intrabank transaction.
  28. As was the case prior to the entry into force of the 1991 GSA agreement.
  29. As was the case in the Netherlands for ATMs until 1998.
  30. Commission notice on the application of the EC competition rules to cross-border credit transfers (OJ C 251, 27.9.1995, p. 3) point 40.
  31. See Nederlandse Vereniging van Banken, Commission Decision 89/512/EEC (OJ L 253, 30.8.1989, p. 1) paragraph 56. The NVB's challenge to this Decision was held inadmissible by the Court of First Instance on 17 September 1992 (Case C-138/89 [1992] ECR 1I-2181).
  32. The replies of various banks to the request for information of 5 August 1997 and 18 January 1999 showed that, in 1997 to 1999, virtually all these banks continued to charge a standard charge of NLG 0,45 (notification without attachments), although in practice some deviation from the standard charge was possible.
  33. Enclosure 8 to the reply of the NMB Postbank Groep of 29 January 1992. See also the letter from ING Bank to a business customer dated 21 January 1993.
  34. See letters to business customers of ABN AMRO dated 18 October 1991 and 24 October 1991, the letter from ABN Bank Nederland dated 4 July 1991, the letter from Rabobank Heerlen dated 31 March 1992, the letter from Hollandse Koopmansbank dated 6 February 1992, the letter from Bank Mendes Gans NV dated 18 December 1991 and the letter from Commerzbank Nederland NV dated 13 November 1993.
  35. See in this connection paragraphs 41 and 42 of the notice on cross-border credit transfers (footnote 29).
  36. Not yet published in the ECR.
  37. See inter alia Case 42/84 Remia v Commission [1985] ECR 2545.
  38. See inter alia Case 250/92 Gottrup-Klim v Dansk Landbrugs Grovvareselskab [1994] ECR I-5641, paragraph 54.
  39. See inter alia Case 219/95 Ferriere Nord v Commission [1997] ECR I-4411, paragraph 19.
  40. See inter alia judgment of the Court of Justice in Case 8/72 Vereeniging van Cementhandelaren v Commission [1972] ECR 977, paragraph 29, judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-29/92 SPO v Commission [1995] ECR II-289, paragraph 229.
  41. See footnote 34.
  42. See ABI, Commission Decision 87/103/EEC (OJ L 43, 13.2.1987, p. 51) recited 37.
  43. As a result of the strong financial ties between foreign parent companies and their branches in the Netherlands, branches must be seen as an extension of the relevant parent companies irrespective of their legal status. The activities of these branches must accordingly be seen as a part of the trade between Member States. See judgment of the Court of Justice in Case 45/85 Verband der Sachversicherer v Commission [1987] ECR 458.
  44. Subsidiaries of foreign banks based in the Netherlands are regarded as foreign banks by De Nederlandsche Bank where non-residents have a shareholding of at least 50 % (see DNB 1991 annual report and DNB's reply to the request for information dated 5 August 1997). The NVB itself also uses this definition (see NVB 1998 annual report, p. 54). The Bagnasco judgment (see footnote 35) demonstrates that the Court regards the participation not just of branches but also of subsidiaries of foreign banks as being relevant to the issue of whether trade between Member States has been affected.
  45. Letters from the NVB dated 25 March 1997 and 8 March 1999.
  46. These were general banks, cooperative banks, savings banks and mortgage banks (Annex VI to the letter from the NVB dated 18 July 1997).