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October 8, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Visa International Inc, Visa USA Inc and MasterCard International Inc have stalled the smart card market by around 10 years, if the US Justice department is to be believed. The department has filed an anti-trust suit accusing the two credit card networks – which between them have sewn up 75% of the US credit card market and both represent many of the same banks – of holding up the development of new technologies, including smart cards on the basis of resistance from member banks. Smart cards … have been delayed for about a decade, said Janet Reno, the US attorney general, in a statement. One smart card company that has been burnt in the US market is France’s Bull SA, which a few years pulled the plug on its smart card unit when demand did not take off as the company expected.

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