MasterCard Settles, Visa Doesn’t
By George Anderson
MasterCard agreed to settle its share of the multi-billion antitrust suit brought against it and Visa by a group of retailers.
The suit alleged MasterCard and Visa forced retailers that accept the companies’ credit cards to also accept their debit cards. The retailers claim that this resulted in higher processing fees ultimately translating into higher costs for consumers.
MasterCard and the retailers have been banned from revealing the settlement’s terms to avoid influencing the jury in the Visa case.
Moderator’s Comment: Will a ruling or settlement in
favor of the retailers have any affect on consumers?
First off, let us say that we support a retailer’s right
to accept or reject any credit/debit cards they choose. Businesses should also
be free to make the best deal to lower their processing costs.
We do not buy the argument, however, that achieving this
outcome would lead to lower prices for consumers. Saved dollars will most likely
drop to the bottom line. That’s okay, too. [George
Anderson – Moderator]