NEWS

Competition Tribunal rejects change to credit-card fee rules

07/23/2013 10:46 EDT | Updated 09/22/2013 05:12 EDT
The Competition Tribunal has dismissed a complaint from major Canadian retailers about the way credit card companies charge them for processing transactions.

Canada's Competition Bureau posted the results of a recent tribunal that delved into the fees retailers are charged by credit companies.

Retailers wanted the right to refuse so-called premium cards that charge them more, but under current rules, retailers aren't allowed to pick and choose what versions of any given credit card they accept.

"The tribunal dismissed the application without costs," the bureau said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

"The reasons are confidential. A public version of the decision will issue as soon as possible after a determination as to what information must remain confidential has been made."

No fee changes

The bureau had brought the complaint against Visa and MasterCard to the tribunal, arguing the differing fees were among the highest in the world.

Many retailers have asked for the rules to be changed so that they can reject higher-fee cards while still accepting others, or possibly add a surcharge on to customers when they pay, to cover the rising costs.

The tribunal has yet to explain its reasoning, but MasterCard was quick to issue a statement lauding the decision.

"The data proves that retailers that accept MasterCard see an increase in sales and reduce their costs of handling cash and record keeping," MasterCard Canada's president Betty K. DeVita said in a statement.

"We are pleased that we will continue to be able to protect consumers from unfair or unexpected fees at checkout."

MORE:cbcNews