WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senator Lee made the following statement regarding the recent settlement of an antitrust dispute between a group of retailers and credit card companies.
Consumers benefit when free market forces are allowed to determine prices.  As a result, lawmakers shouldn't interfere with those competitive forces.  Existing antitrust remedies are generally sufficient to address particular instances of anticompetitive conduct and restore competitive balance.  I believe the government ought not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace, especially since legislation addressing specific allegations of anticompetitive behavior can result in broad and unintended negative consequences.
These principles apply to the market for credit cards, including the market for the interchange fees that retailers pay credit card companies and banks for the use of those cards.  Last week’s settlement agreement between Visa and MasterCard on the one hand, and retailers on the other, demonstrates the adequacy of existing antitrust law to remedy alleged anticompetitive behavior.  This settlement was negotiated in an effort to restore competitive market balance and will allow credit card companies and retailers to get back to work serving consumers.