The Feds Storm A Plastic Fortress

At issue now: Interlocking ownership of Visa and MasterCard

Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. have dominated the U.S. credit-card market ever since bank-issued plastic invaded consumer wallets two decades ago. The two nonprofit bank associations have ridden the wave of the credit-card business, now estimated at $707 billion in U.S. purchases in 1996.

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