Visa drops after report says DOJ is probing debit card business

Norm Betts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Visa shares fell sharply on Friday noon after a report said the Justice Department opened an investigation into its debit card business and possible anti-competitive practices.

The department’s antitrust division has begun gathering information on whether Visa, the largest card network in the US, has restricted merchants’ ability to route debit card transactions over lower-cost networks, according to non-so-called sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal to have.

These sources added that DOJ investigators’ questions focus on online debit card transactions, but also inquiries about problems in the business.

Visa, which had put pressure on its shares the previous Friday, fell abruptly from around $ 218.50 per share to around $ 209 per share around 11:30 a.m., according to the Journal’s report in New York. Due to his losses, the stock fell about 5% during the session.

Both the Justice Department and Visa declined to comment.

The research focuses on the role of network fees, fees that payment processors charge merchants to gain access to the processor’s vast network, the report said.

Investigators will try to determine whether Visa’s fee policy is unlawfully leading to unfair dominance, the Journal said.

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