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Mastercard Cooperating With DOJ Antitrust Investigation of Debit Program

 |  April 27, 2023

Mastercard is cooperating with an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The firm received a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) from the DOJ Antitrust Division in March and is cooperating with the investigation, Mastercard said in its quarterly report released Thursday (April 27).

The CID seeks documents and information regarding a potential violation of the Sherman Act, and the investigation is focused on Mastercard’s U.S. debit program and competition with other payment networks and technologies, according to the report.

Read more: DOJ OKs Mastercard’s Finicity Deal

Bloomberg reported Thursday that the DOJ’s CID signals a widening of a similar investigation of Visa that was launched two years ago and that saw a demand for further documents and information from Visa in January.

The investigation of Visa is focused on issues around the Durbin Amendment, which requires banks to have at least two competing payments networks available to process their debit card transactions, giving merchants a choice, according to the report.

“It’s not surprising that the DOJ would request information from other players in the debit space,” Mastercard Chief Financial Officer Sachin Mehra told Bloomberg.