Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade's general superintendence on Oct. 24 filed an administrative proceeding against Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and its Redecard SA card processor unit to probe alleged anticompetitive practices in the payments market.
The investigation specifically is looking into a Redecard campaign, launched in May, in which the firm offered some merchants with Itaú bank accounts a two-day settlement period for credit card spot transactions; for merchants using other banks, the settlement period remained at 30 days.
Cade argued that such an arrangement creates "a possibility of distortions and compromised competition in the sector in the medium term." As such, it determined that it should "further analyze the potential efficiencies generated by this conduct in the accreditation and transaction capture market."
In the meantime, Cade has prohibited Itaú from requiring banking addresses from Redecard customers to take advantage of the two-day settlement term.
"Companies are subject to a fine if they fail to comply with their obligations," Cade said.