Christmas comes early for retailers across the country;

Retail Council of Canada commends Competition Bureau for referring card company conduct to Competition Tribunal

TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) applauds actions taken today by the Competition Bureau to file an application with the Competition Tribunal to strike down restrictive and anti-competitive rules that Visa and MasterCard impose on merchants who accept their credit cards.

"This is the beginning of the end for the wild west mentality of Canada's unregulated payments industry," said Diane Brisebois, President and CEO of Retail Council of Canada. "The actions taken today by the Bureau are an important step in the fight for clarity, transparency and accountability in Canada's payments market."

RCC is encouraged that the Competition Bureau has responded to the concerns it has voiced on behalf of merchants of all sizes  across the country. Working with industry partners such as the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) and backed by more than 250,000 Canadian merchants across the country, RCC has pushed for a robust regulatory framework for the card companies and the payments industry for a number of years.

"As the Bureau notes, Canada has some of the highest credit card fees in the world," David Wilkes, SVP, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors said. "This is an important acknowledgment that the monopolistic practices of the payment industry are costly to consumers and retailers."

RCC also acknowledges the positive impact of the process started by Finance Minister Flaherty in issuing the Code of Conduct for debit and credit card industry. The action taken by the Bureau today will continue to bring incremental progress toward much needed regulation of this market in Canada.

About Retail Council of Canada
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians in every corner of the country - by providing jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in the communities we serve. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 40,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information.

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

For further information: For further information:

Mark Beazley, Director, Communications,

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