ARLINGTON, VA—June 14, 2011—Today, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division submitted a final consent decree in its enforcement action against Visa and MasterCard to address some of the anti-competitive practices related to credit cards.

“This is just a first step, but a vital one, to help alleviate some of the card network restraints on FMI members’ ability to provide discounts to their customers. This enforcement action is focused on anti-competitive practices related to credit cards and re-enforces the need for credit card transactions to be subject to the same reforms authored by Senator Durbin related to debit cards,” says Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

Sarasin continues, “Neighborhood supermarkets look forward to continued scrutiny of anti-competitive practices with credit and debit cards that were not addressed in the department’s enforcement action. Visa and MasterCard have hundreds of pages of non-negotiable, take-it-or-leave-it network rules that have stifled and continue to stifle market competition.”

FMI anticipates that this action by the department will begin to open possibilities for competition in the marketplace.