DOJ Investigating Visa’s Debit Card Practices
The Wall Street Journal has published a report today saying that the Justice Department has opened an investigation into Visa’s debit card business and possible anticompetitive practices. Visa shares dropped 4.54% after the report.
The department’s antitrust division has started to collect information on whether Visa, the largest card network in the United States, has curbed merchants’ capacity to route debit-card transactions over less-expensive networks, The Wall Street Journal says citing unnamed sources. “Many of the department’s questions have focused on online debit-card transactions, but investigators have asked about in-store issues as well,” the article says.
The probe focuses on the role of network fees, which are charges that payments processors like Visa bill to merchants in exchange for access to its network. Investigators will seek to determine if Visa’s fee policies unlawfully give it unfair market dominance.