_News Talk 770
The Competition Bureau has levelled a sweeping indictment against Visa and MasterCard in a tribunal looking at business practices of credit card companies. The Bureau says the credit card firms have set up a perverse system that thwarts normal rules of the marketplace and costs consumers billions of dollars a year.
The Bureau's lead cousel Kent Thompson says Canadian merchants pay among the highest fees in the world for the priviledge of accepting credit card purchases. Those fees add 5-billion dollars in consumer costs every year. Thompson says credit card fees can be as much as 50 times greater than those on debit cards. He says the system is rigged so consumers are forced to pay higher costs for premium cards, even if they don't use them.
The issue was referred to the tribunal by the Competition Bureau after a group representing independent firms complained they suspected credit card companies engaged in price fixing.