Visa is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department over anticompetitive practices

  • The Justice Department is probing Visa for potential anticompetitive practices, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The DOJ is seeking to determine whether the company is keeping its leading market share through illegal practices.
  • Visa shares fell about 4% following the report. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Payments giant Visa is being investigated by the Justice Department for possible “anticompetitive practices” that kept merchants from using less expensive card networks, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday citing people familiar with the matter.

The agency is probing whether the company has restricted these merchants from routing debit-card transactions over less expensive card networks and whether those actions would allow Visa to keep its leading market position illegally, the paper said.

Visa shares fell as much as 4% following the report. The company declined to comment, and the Justice Department did not immediately respond. 

Visa is the largest US card network and was planning to raise merchant fees this year. But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company, along with Mastercard, decided to wait another year. 

Makan Delrahim, the DOJ’s antitrust boss, has said under the Biden administration the department will continue to scrutinize big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple. The Journal added that the fintech sector has also come under more scrutiny as digital payments and marketplaces grow. 

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