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Visa and Wal-Mart go head to head over fees Add to ...

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Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have been accused of bullying retailers of all sizes, particularly small ones. Now, Visa is being picked on by someone much bigger than it is: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which this week filed a $5-billion (U.S.) federal anti-trust lawsuit against Visa over transaction fees.

Credit-card giants trade at lofty earnings multiples, because investors have come to believe their profitable business models are virtually impregnable. And it often seems that way.

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