Keywords: Network externalities, retail payment services, payment system
The paper deals with the competition policy and the retail payment services in the European Union according to a network externalities approach. It will analyze the rationale of the directive 2007/64 EC, paying attention to the rules which might interfere with the performance of the antitrust function. On the whole, the directive 2007/64 EC seems to rationalize the standstill legal framework as well as formalize some trends which had already been set by the European antitrust authorities, without relevant news. But the directive may have the advantage to affect an aspect, different both from the price and the output, which might end up being essential to the competition policy because it is far from being influenced by network externalities.