Visa Inc. Rescinds Debit Card Rule as a Result of Department of Justice Antitrust Investigation

WASHINGTON — As the result of a Department of Justice antitrust investigation, Visa Inc. has rescinded a rule that required merchants to treat Visa-branded debit cards differently when used as a PIN-debit card (and processed via non-Visa networks) from the same cards when used as signature debit cards and processed on the Visa network. The Department said that it had been investigating whether the rule adversely affected competition in the debit card industry by restricting certain PIN debit transactions, particularly small-value and Internet transactions, and by potentially interfering with the introduction of new types of PIN debit services.

The Department’s Antitrust Division will close its investigation now that Visa has rescinded its operating regulation and adopted new regulations that should eliminate any potential for competitive harm. See, USDOJ.