July 23, 2013

CFIB disappointed with Competition Tribunal ruling on Visa and MasterCard practices

TORONTO--The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed the Competition Tribunal ruled against the case put forward by the Competition Bureau on Visa and MasterCard practices. Small businesses were hoping the case would be successful and provide merchants new powers to push back against rapidly rising fees imposed by Visa and MasterCard to process credit cards.

"While the decision is disappointing, CFIB is pleased the Competition Tribunal recognized the adverse effect Visa's and MasterCard's policies have had on competition," said CFIB president Dan Kelly. "The Tribunal has also suggested a regulatory solution."

CFIB is now asking the Federal Government to work with merchants on additional provisions to the Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry to address merchants' concerns.

"We are particularly disappointed by the decision as US small firms recently gained the ability to surcharge through an out-of-court settlement with Visa and MasterCard," said Kelly. "Given Visa and MasterCard agreed to allow surcharging in the US, we expect that Canadian merchants should be allowed the same powers."

"Consumers and merchants are on the same side of this dispute. Very few Canadians know that they pay $5-7 billion each year in credit card processing fees embedded in the cost of everything we buy", added Kelly. "This isn't the outcome we were hoping to see, but entrepreneurs can rest assured that CFIB isn't going away. We're going to keep fighting against unfair practices by the credit card giants."

CFIB reminds consumers that paying with Interac debit or cash is one small way they can help small businesses. In addition, merchants can find special signage to promote paying with Interac or cash at www.cfib.ca/debitcredit.

CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region

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