Sunday, February 19, 2006

"Lobbyists Trade Charges of Extortion in Fee Fight" (The Hill)

Two high-profile lobbying coalitions traded charges of extortion before a powerful House panel yesterday, dragging their clash over credit cards’ “interchange fees” into the open.

Merchants pay interchange fees whenever a consumer swipes a credit card, with the fee covering credit-card operating costs and guaranteeing card issuers instant, real money to back up the purchase. But merchants have struck back at credit cards and banks, charging the financial-services giants with fixing the interchange fees and asking Congress to slash or eliminate interchange.

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[source: The Hill, The Newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress]