Dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition with others in markets where they are dominant.
These are the words of European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager as she accused Google of being anti-competitive and using its search engine to promote its own services over its competitors’.
It came in the same week that PayPoint wrote to its network of retailers, informing them their commission cap is being cut by as much as 46%.
The service provider has dominated discussion on a retailer Facebook group I’m a member of, and there has been dozens of posts about how retailers should respond.
Some have suggested working with other local stores and boycotting the service to increase negotiating power, while others have suggested charging a handling fee. Dublin newsagent Joe Sweeney says he already charges a 25c fee on every Payzone transactions to cover his costs and will sue the company if it tries to stop him.
Making retailers choose between what is right for their business and what is right for their community is wrong
Retailers face a conundrum. They can accept the new rates and take a hit in the pocket. They can fight and risk the backlash from PayPoint. Or they walk away altogether, either losing business to another local shop or denying customers a vital service.
Making retailers choose between what is right for their business and what is right for their community is wrong, and if consumers suffer as a result, it certainly sounds like something the Competition and Markets Authority would be interested in.
You may not think you are comparable to an organisation representing 750 million people like the EU. But you’re just as important to PayPoint’s profitability as we all are on this continent to Google’s.