MasterCard and Visa Settle Antitrust Case

Visa and MasterCard have agreed to new changes that will allow merchants greater flexibility to steer their customer’s payment choice.

The Dodd-Frank financial regulations signed into law in July allow merchants to set a $10 minimum card purchase. Now, announced in a Justice Department consent decree, Visa and MasterCard have agreed that merchants can:

  • 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;
  • 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.

Visa and MasterCard can still require merchants to accept all cards within their brands. However, now merchants will be able to offer discounts for lower-cost cards or other forms of payment. Of course, merchants may refuse to accept card payments.

American Express did not settle.

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