Court Action: giropay vs. sofortü

By Payment Network Ag, PRNE
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Federal Cartel Office (FCO) Submits its Opinion: Banks' Standard Terms Violate Antitrust Law

GAUTING and MUNICH, Germany, March 9, 2011 - The FCO recently submitted its legal opinion to the Cologne District
Court on the court action of giropay against Payment Network AG. The FCO says
its initial antitrust concerns have been confirmed during the course of its
investigation. So far the FCO takes the view that the banks' standard terms
are void insofar as they foreclose the market for independent payment
messenger services.

"The standard terms had been targeted at sofortü / and provided the basis for giropay's court action -
sofortü was supposed to be excluded from the market. We see our
legal opinion confirmed by the FCO," says Payment Network's CFO Dr. Jens
, "giropay's attempt to monopolise the market via the banks' standard
terms will fail."

The Court action brought by giropay against Payment Network AG triggered
an antitrust investigation by the FCO. giropay filed its suit against Payment
Network AG in January 2010 based on allegations of unfair competition and
accused Payment Network of violating the banks' standard terms by operating
its independent instant payment service sofortü / The Cologne District Court suspended proceedings after
the FCO announced its investigation in October of 2010 (see press release of
15 October 2010 "Judgement postponed due to involvement of Federal Cartel

"For Payment Network, it has been clear from the outset that this Court
action only serves to attack our successful business model. This attempt
misfired," notes Payment Network's CFO. "Several studies have confirmed that
sofortü / is the leading service provider.
The e-commerce 2010 study by EuPD Research found sofortü to be
the most widely-used online payment system. We would like to thank all of our
partners (retailers, associations and payment service providers) for their

About sofortü

More than 17,000 e-commerce businesses, both nationally and
internationally, rely on the payment system "sofortü /", among them many international retailers and brands such
as KLM, Hugo Boss,, Schlecker, Conrad Electronic, Plus
Online, flyeralarm, redcoon, cyberport, Media Markt, Emirates,, ATU,
Dell,, Rossmann, Baur Versand, MyToys, AIDA and
babywalz. Other than Germany, sofortü / is
also available in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.

Press Contact: Payment Network AG, Georg Schardt, Vorstand,

Press Contact: Payment Network AG, Georg Schardt, Vorstand, +49(0)89/2020889-112, g.schardt at

will not be displayed