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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canada gets tough with Visa, MasterCard

The Canadian Competition Bureau is attempting to invalidate what it believes are restrictive rules imposed on merchants by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide. The bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal to strike down the rules, alleging they eliminate competition between the two brands for merchants' acceptance of their cards.

"Visa and MasterCard's anticompetitive behavior hurts businesses and consumers alike," said Melanie Aitken of Canada's Commission of Competition. "It is particularly harmful for small and medium-sized businesses, key engines for economic growth in Canada."

In a statement, Visa called the bureau's suit "anti-consumer." The company's rules "protect consumers from being punished by large retailers who seek to impose surcharges," Visa stated. "Visa's policies do not preclude retailers from offering an incentive to customers to use different forms of payment." end of article

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