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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) yesterday said that it was commending the decision by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to hold hearings into the cost to consumers of interchange fees charged by credit card companies.

“The public has a right to know they are paying hidden interchange fees on virtually every transaction — fees that are anti-competitive and fixed in secret by Visa, MasterCard and the banks that issue their credit cards,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “Very few consumers are aware of the interchange fees that cost them tens of billions of dollars a year,” he said. “Credit card companies prohibit retailers from disclosing the fees on receipts, monthly statements or other written records.”

As a leading member of the Merchants Payments Coalition, FMI is seeking transparent, cost-based interchange fees in the U.S. The coalition is composed of 20 trade associations representing 2.7 million retail stores and 50 million employees.
KC's View:
We’re on board for this investigation. It is ludicrous that credit card companies can pretty much charge what they want, that retailers have no choice in the fees that are charged and that consumers aren’t allowed to know how much the fees are for the cards they use.

Anything that can be done to bring the credit card companies to heel is a good thing.