OTTAWA, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - The Competition Bureau announced today that it
agrees with complaints by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices
Association (CRFA) and restaurant operators that Visa and MasterCard
rules are "restrictive and anti-competitive."
CRFA took its complaints about unfair rules imposed by credit card
companies to the Competition Bureau in 2009, and in April of that year
the Competition Bureau initiated a formal enquiry, which CRFA
participated in. The Bureau has now filed an application with the
Competition Tribunal to strike down the unfair rules imposed on
merchants -- including restaurateurs -- who accept credit cards.
"A duopoly in credit cards has led to significantly higher costs for our
members who accept credit cards, and many of them have little choice
but to pass at least some of those costs onto their customers," says
CRFA President and CEO Garth Whyte. "Today's announcement is a very
significant step toward a more competitive, fair and transparent system
that will benefit restaurateurs and consumers."
The Competition Bureau is challenging the following rules:
Honour all cards -- requiring merchants to accept all credit cards from a specific
network including premium cards with higher fees;
No surcharge -- preventing merchants from charging a fee on transactions made with Visa
or MasterCard credit cards; and
No discrimination -- preventing merchants from encouraging or discouraging customers from
using certain credit cards.
CRFA will participate as needed in the Tribunal Hearings and is hopeful
that the Competition Bureau challenge will result in a reining in of
practices by credit card companies that force merchants and their
customers to pay for reward programs for premium card holders.
CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with more than
30,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions
and other foodservice providers. Canada's $60-billion foodservice
industry employs more than one million people in communities across the
SOURCE Restaurants Canada
For further information: For further information:
Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, Communications Specialist, 416-649-4254 or 1-800-387-5649, ext. 4254, or firstname.lastname@example.org.