TORONTO, July 23 (Reuters) - Canada's Competition Tribunal has dismissed a complaint against credit card issuers that had alleged the rules they impose on merchants who accept their cards are too restrictive and anti-competitive.
The decision, released on Tuesday by the quasi-judicial government panel, means credit card providers may continue to impose rules that prohibit merchants from discouraging customers from using higher-cost credit cards or from passing card fees along to customers.
The ruling follows an application in late 2010 by Canada's Competition Bureau, an adjudicative body separate from the tribunal, to strike down the rules.
Canada's credit card market is dominated by Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc, who together control about 90 percent of the market. Their cards are mostly issued by domestic lenders.