We’ve seen it before, for example when Ebay used its dominant position in the online auction sector to gain an advantage against competitors in the money transfer business by forcing customers where it has an effective monopoly to use its product (its
PayPay “PayPal” system) instead of a competitor’s where it doesn’t. Using a dominant position in one industry to undermine competition in another.
And here it is again. The nearly monopoly electronic payment system for purchasing goods with a customer’s own money in shops in Australia – EFTPOS – is now gouging its retail customers with extra fees. How is that similar? Because EFTPOS is controlled by, along with some big banks and insurers, Coles (Wesfarmers) and Woolworths. So those two enormous supermarket chains can absorb these fees easily – a good portion of them are just going back to themselves anyway – where their competitors, like independent grocers, are left struggling with another cost they have to pay or lose customers. Heads you pay us, tails you send customers to us.
But, hey, I’m sure this will all work out for consumers in the long run, somehow. Go free market! Go!