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Canada: Competition Bureau switches strategy to fight swipe fees

 |  October 1, 2013

As the Competition Bureau vowed to continue its fight against swipe fees, which rack up to $5 billion for credit card giants Visa and MasterCard, the regulator decided to switch strategies in its battle.

Reports say the Bureau announced Monday it would not appeal the Competition Tribunal’s July dismissal of the case against Visa and MasterCard; rather than fighting in court, the Bureau will seek out “alternate means” to address the issue of interchange fees, resolving to fight the anticompetitive fees through political regulation outside of court.

In a statement, the regulator’s commissioner John Pecman said the watchdog would work with lawmakers to advocate for changes in the swipe fees and that, despite the Tribunal’s dismissal of the case, the fees are still considered anticompetitive.

Since the Tribunal’s decision, the Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee was asked to review the merchant swipe fee issue and has had one meeting to discuss the fees, with another scheduled.

Full Content: The Star

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