Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2012 – Two years after many retail associations lobbied successfully for price controls on the banks that process their debit cards – the Durbin Amendment of the Dodd-Frank financial “reform” – retailers themselves are facing a host of intrusive mandates.
Most prominently are the “unit controls” on soft drinks from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But retailers are also under pressure because there has been little evidence they have passed on savings from the billions they have saved from the Durbin caps on what they pay banks and credit unions to process debit card transactions. As reported in Time magazine, gasoline retailers have stoked outrages by charging huge price differentials to pay for gas with credit or debit cards. In the meantime, consumers have been socked with new fees on their checking and savings accounts as the cost of processing debit cards has been shifted to them.
The letter, signed by leaders of 18 center-right groups, calls for members Congress to reject price controls on retailers but to support a bipartisan bill to repeal the Durbin price controls on banks and credit unions.
“We would oppose efforts to regulate gas or convenience store prices,” the letter states. “But what’s bad for retailers is just as bad for their financial suppliers … Repealing the debit card interchange price caps entirely and getting the government out of the way is the only way to restore balance in this market."