Regulatory Comments

ICLE Comments on Proposed FTC Consent Agreement; Mastercard Incorporated

Comment on Mastercard Incorporated; Matter No. 201 0011


I am an expert on the law & economics of payment cards and have written extensively the subject.[1] I am submitting this comment on behalf of the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) because we have concerns regarding the effects that the consent order may have on the functioning of and innovation in payment systems.

Among there are that the agreement will undermine the security of payments made using single-message systems; set a precedent that, if applied more broadly, would undermine the security of payments more generally; and discourage investment in innovation, especially in the development of new, secure, tokenized payment systems that have the potential to reduce fraud, theft, and other forms of counterparty risk. Such an outcome would be, in our view, entirely detrimental to the future of the U.S. payment system.

To elaborate those concerns, we attach a paper we recently produced that discusses the regulation of single-message payment systems and, in particular, the regulation of routing on such networks. We hope this work will help to inform your deliberations on the matter.

[1] See, e.g., Julian Morris & Todd J. Zywicki, Regulating Routing in Payment Networks, International Center for Law & Economics (Aug. 18, 2022),; Julian Morris, Central Banks and Real-Time Payments: Lessons From Brazil’s Pix, International Center for Law & Economics (Jun. 1, 2022),; Julian Morris, Regulating Payment-Card Fees: International Best Practices And Lessons For Costa Rica, International Center for Law & Economics (May 25, 2022),; Todd J. Zywicki, Julian Morris, & Geoffrey A. Manne, The Effects Of Price Controls On Payment-Card Interchange Fees: A Review And Update, International Center for Law & Economics (Mar. 4, 2022),