Currency exchange row in Oz
The case pertains to currency conversion when foreign credit cards are used to make purchases in Australia, reports the Sydney Morning Herald today.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Visa has banned retailers in the country from using alternative currency conversion systems. It also claims that that tourists had no option but to use Visa’s system when withdrawing money from cash machines.
‘The ACCC is concerned that Visa sought to stop the growth of competing dynamic currency conversion services and, as a result, limit the choices available to consumers,’ said commission chairman Rod Sims.
According to the report, the commission has begun legal action against VISA AP (Australia), VISA Inc, VISA USA Inc and VISA Worldwide Pty Ltd, in the Federal Court in New South Wales.
The watchdog is seeking to enforce penalties against Visa, which could lead to a potential AU$20 million fine if company is found to have breached Australian law.
Visa said today it would 'vigorously defend itself against claims by the ACCC that our rules on dynamic currency conversion infringe Australia's competition laws'.