The Biden administration’s Justice Department is investigating Visa over its debit card practices, the San Francisco-based credit card company revealed on Friday.Visa acknowledged the probe in a March 19 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.In the filing, Visa said the U.S. Justice Department informed the company of its probe and asked it “to preserve relevant documents related to the investigation.”
“We believe Visa’s U.S. debit practices are in compliance with applicable laws. Visa is cooperating with the Department of Justice,” read the filing, which was submitted by Visa executive vice president Kelly Mahon Tullier, the company’s chief legal and administrative officer.
According to reporting by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story, the Justice Department’s antitrust division was looking into whether the largest American card network pushes merchants’ to route debit-card payments through more expensive card networks, primarily in the digital marketplace.
In a filing earlier this month to the SEC, Visa reported that the period between Jan. 1 through March 7 saw an 8% increase in U.S. payments compared to the same period last year. Most of that growth was due to a 23% increase in the volume of a debit card payments, the filing stated.
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Visa Inc. is incorporated in Delaware and registered on the New York Stock Exchange.
Raheem Hosseini is a San Francisco Chronicle editor. Email:; Twitter: @raheemfh