Jul

07

VISA Abandons Debit Card Rule to Avoid Investigation by DOJ and Three State Attorneys General

Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : July 7, 2008

On July 1, 2008, the Antitrust Division announced that VISA agreed to rescind a rule that required merchants to give VISA debit cards superior treatment than non-VISA debit transactions from VISA branded cards. Under the rule, VISA allowed merchants to waive the signature and PIN requirements for transactions of less than $25 on VISA debit cards but required the entry of a PIN or a signature on a VISA branded card for a non-VISA debit transaction. With a 70% share of the debit card market, this hurdle may have given VISA an unfair competitive advantage. This practice had become the subject of investigations by the Antitrust Division and the District of Columbia, New York and Ohio attorneys general. It is not surprising that VISA is gun-shy in light of its multi-billion settlements in private antitrust litigation. The Antitrust Division’s press release is attached. DOJ Press Release (VISA)

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