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Banks did not break any antitrust law, EPC says

The Electronic Payments Coalition is defending banks against Democratic accusations that banks are breaking antitrust laws for raising their debit card fees.

The EPC, whose members include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and many other banks and trade associations, said that the new consumer fees are appropriate considering provisions in Dodd-Frank that dramatically cut into banks’ revenue at the bidding of large retailers.

"It's ironic that Congressman Welch and some members of Congress continue to feign surprise and outrage at the consequences of an amendment that they themselves advocated at the behest of giant retail," EPC spokeswoman
Trish Wexler said, IBTimes.com reports. "This was an unprecedented move by government to intervene in a free market, leaving businesses with no choice but to turn to their customers to make up the difference."

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) recently sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter requesting a probe into whether or not banks and industry trade groups coordinated price signaling or collusion.

"There is clearly no problem with banks making independent business decisions based upon the landscape as they see it," the letter read, according to IBTimes.com. "Antitrust issues are raised, however, if they are attempting to facilitate group decisions on their prices, terms and conditions."

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