Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Crying Wolf Over Credit Card Fees" (commentary from "The Boston Globe" and

With the law against them and their customers against them, the banks begin argung that Congress should come to their rescue.

With scores of antitrust suits against Visa and MasterCard, and more than 150 posting below this one from the Credit Card Interchange Report -, the Nov. 25th Commentary in The Boston Globe by Phil Kerpen (policy director for the Free Enterprise Fund) demonstrates why this $25 billion annual hidden tax is so divisive.

The commentary was written by the Free Enterprise Fund ("FEF"), a fledgling Washington-based conservative think-tank and lobby group. Their prior campaign was running pro-DeLay TV ads.

Columnist Terry M. Neal in the Washington Post explained more about FEF: "The conservative Free Enterprise Fund, a Washington-based group that promotes conservative economic policies, is underwriting a national ad campaign aimed undermining District Attorney Ronald Earle's credibility. And because it is reportedly running in especially high concentration in the Austin market, where the DeLay trial will be held, it's clear FEF is trying to influence the jury pool."

Mr. Kerpen fails to mention anything about our nation's antitrust laws and why price-fixing is illegal. His lobbying group should know that retail and ecommerce merchants have no option, MasterCard and Visa must be accepted or they will be out of business. Even the FEF accepts contributions using the Visa and MasterCard payment system. Their supporters who pay monthly with automatic deductions on their cards pay interchange fees with every individual charge. But, contributors to FEF who pay by charge card once a year incurs a single interchange fee.

While American Express and Discover cards are not party to this litigation, they too will be influenced as the interchange fee disappears and they too will be forced to lower their rates.

As the Credit Card Interchange Report - boasts an arsenal of facts and strength in knowing that merchants and consumers both are rallying to cease these illegal pricing schemes, groups like FEF simply want Congress to handle this matter.

[source:; Click here to view The Boston Globe FEF Commentary]