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Durbin punts hearing with airline, payment CEOs

The Senate Judiciary Committee will no longer have a credit card competition hearing in early April with the CEOs of Mastercard, Visa, United Airlines and American Airlines, according to a source familiar with the planning.

This is a delay, we’re told, and not a cancellation. Negotiations between the committee and aviation and payments executives are ongoing.

Senate Judiciary Committee chair and Majority Whip Dick Durbin told us last Tuesday he’d encountered “resistance” from the would-be participants after inviting the CEOs to testify about credit card competition in February.

This hearing is part of Durbin’s broader campaign against credit card swipe fees. Besides the banking and payments sector, no industry is more opposed to Durbin’s Credit Card Competition Act than the aviation industry. Credit card programs are a huge part of airline profits.

The hearing delay was first reported by Politico.

Durbin told us last week the four companies offered alternative executives to serve as witnesses for the April 9 hearing because the CEOs were “too busy.” The Illinois Democrat said at the time he wasn’t satisfied.

— Brendan Pedersen

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