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MasterCard/Visa Antitrust Settlement: At Least It's Not Surcharging

First, The Facts The Department of Justice announced the outcome of its antitrust investigations of MasterCard, Visa and American Express on October 5, both filing a suit and announcing settlement with MasterCard and Visa. Litigation will continue with American Express. Elements of the settlement are as follows:

The proposed settlement requires MasterCard and Visa to allow their merchants to:

Offer consumers an immediate discount or rebate or a free or discounted product or service for using a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment;

Express a preference for the use of a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment;

Promote a particular credit card network, low-cost card within that network or other form of payment through posted information or other communications to consumers; and

Communicate to consumers the cost incurred by the merchant when a consumer uses a particular credit card network, type of card within that network, or other form of payment.

--source: DOJ press release, 10/5/10

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