The Federal Trade Commission is taking a closer look at a Visa Inc. debit card service that might be in violation of the Durbin Amendment. Visa has said that it's cooperating with the FTC's request for documents related to the matter.

According to a report by Business Week, antitrust regulators sent a letter to Visa on Sept. 21, requesting documents related to the company's PIN debit gateway service. The service is offered by Visa "to merchant acquirers that want to route transactions to other networks, but do not have connections to those networks," said Darrin Peller, an analyst at Barclays Plc, in a written comment.

Peller said that the FTC examination is most likely the result of regulations requiring that merchants have a choice between at least two PIN debit routing networks. Since April, when this aspect of the Durbin regulation went into effect, Visa's gateway has seen an increase in business, which has given rise to the current scrutiny, the Business Week article said.

For more on this topic, visit the regulatory issues research center.

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