OTTAWA, Canada- A competition tribunal is being held in Ottawa to look into the conditions that credit card companies force on retailers. The Competition Bureau wants to challenge the rights of credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard. They disagree with their ability to force retailers to accept all or none of their types of cards and their ability to prevent retailers from applying a surcharge to recover the credit card fees paid by the retailer.
Many retailers pay up to 3% of the transaction value when consumers use premium credit cards. In order to make up for these fees, many retailers are charging more for all their goods, no matter how they pay. This makes the least affluent consumers subsidize the purchases of the affluent consumers.
Interchange fees are where the credit card companies make the most money. Visa and MasterCard basically compete to see who can have the highest fees. Hearings on these issues will begin in 24 days.