The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a free-speech clash with big stakes for retailers and credit-card companies, agreeing to decide the fate of laws in 10 states that limit how merchants can describe the lower prices they charge for cash transactions.
In 2010, lawmakers passed bipartisan reforms to bring transparency and competition to a debit card swipe fee market that had previously been void of both. Now, members of Congress want to undo that progress.
"Rent-seeking" is a widely recognized economics term that refers to when people or groups try to obtain economic benefits for themselves through a subsidy in the political arena. In Washington, the term has special significance. Special-interest groups regularly try to gain subsidies by securing a special regulation that disadvantages competitors.
Merchants are increasingly frustrated over how the EMV deployment has interfered with their legally guaranteed options for PIN debit transaction routing and authorization and since the government gave merchants this right, the Merchant Advisory Group is appealing to the government to take a look at how things have played out.
PayPal Holdings Inc. is scrapping plans to build an operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina, saying that recent legislation passed in the state undercuts the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
As one of the most antagonistic lobbying battles in Washington escalates -- where financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase and Visa are sparring with companies such as Walmart over credit card swipe fees -- a powerful ally is again sticking up for the retailers.