Shares of Visa traded off more than 5% on Friday amid a report that the Department of justice is investigating whether the company engaged in anticompetitive, or monopoly like practices.
According to an exclusive report in the Wall Street Journal, Visa may have “limited merchants’ ability to route debit-card transactions over card networks that are often less expensive.”
The Journal cites sources close to the case saying the DOJ’s investigation is focused “primarily on debit-card transactions.” The DOJ is apparently trying to determine whether Visa’s practices are enabling it to maintain a dominant share in the marketplace in an unlawful way.
Both Visa and the DOJ declined to comment to the paper.
Stores have complained for years that they have been unable to route online debit card purchases through smaller and less expensive networks when Visa or Mastercard’s name is on the card. As a result, merchants say they often pay higher network fees.