CCB take on Visa and Mastercard’s merchant restraints
On 8 May 2012, the Canadian Competition Bureau’s trial against Visa and MasterCard started.
The CCB alleges that both companies imposed anti-competitive rules on merchants who accept their credit cards. Competition Commissioner Melainie Aitken argued that Visa and Mastercard merchant agreement discourage consumers from using lower-cost payment methods, such as cash or debit card, and prevent retailers declining higher fee cards, thus leading to an increase in card service fees paid by retailers. Merchants in Canada pay an estimated $5 billion annually in hidden credit card fees. This leads to correspondingly higher retail prices for goods and services.
In the proceedings, the CCB is seeking to prohibit the enforcement of these merchant agreements by Visa and Mastercard.