Visa, MasterCard Surge ; Co.’s Reportedly Near Deal in Antitrust Probe

Shares of MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) are surging in afternoon trading Monday as Wall Street Journal headline reports that both co.’s will settle an antitrust probe with the Dept. of Justice over restrictions the two payment card associations impose on merchants accepting their cards.

According to the Journal, the settlement, which could allow merchants more choices on which cards to accept, isn’t expected to include any fines because it is a civil case, and more importantly for both co.’s shareholders, wouldn’t significantly impact either companies earnings.

The settlement could be announced as early as this week, the Journal said.

Visa gained $56 cents, or 0.80 percent, to $73.91 at 12:42 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Shares of MasterCard are well off the lows of the session, currently trading at $224.52.

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