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Brea Bennett at Twistys

June 14, 2000 04:58am
Adult Industry Leader Not Surprised Visa And MasterCard are On Trial for Unfair Business Practices
Source: News Wire
by: Company Press Release

(CHATSWORTH, CA) -- The publisher of AVN Online®, the leading adult entertainment Internet trade publication, says his industry has felt firsthand the enormous influence that Visa and MasterCard can exert when they want to enforce their own business practices.

``We were not surprised to see the Department of Justice battling Visa and MasterCard in Federal Court for alleged monopolistic practices, because the adult entertainment industry has experienced the enormous power these companies can exert when they want to get their own way,'' says publisher Darren Roberts, who is also the senior officer for IA2000, the world's largest adult Internet/Audiotext trade show.

Roberts says the adult industry has galvanized to fight the giant credit card companies over what it feels are discriminatory business practices. Specifically, Visa and MasterCard have began implementing severe ``chargeback'' policies for the audiotext and videotext industries, and last month American Express announced it would stop handling transactions for adult websites.

``The card companies are attacking the adult industry instead of attacking the root of the problem. For example, secure authentication technologies such as SET (Secure Electronic Transaction) have yet to be fully embraced by the credit card companies,'' Roberts says. ``Our industry has formed advocacy groups, such as Flying Crocodile's recently launched Credit Card Watch, to address these concerns.''

Flying Crocodile CEO Andrew Edmond says: ``While credit cards are the financial foundation for nearly all Internet business, thus far, the credit card industry has been the least supportive or innovative in developing and perfecting e-commerce. Instead, these companies' coordinated efforts seem intent on derailing the continuing success of online sales with their dictatorial policies, resistance to adopting new fraud-fighting technologies, and continual segregation of market camps.''

Roberts notes that other Internet ventures, including Microsoft's Expedia, ``escape unscathed while incurring huge quantities of chargebacks. Expedia announced in March that it would have to set aside between $4-$6 million to cover card fraud allegedly perpetrated against the company, but the card companies aren't going after it - they're only attacking the adult industry.''

Look for news on this and other Internet/Audiotext issues to come out of IA2000, the ``only truly practical adult Internet business-to-business marketplace,'' attracting a record number of exhibitors to its New Orleans meeting on September 22-24, 2000.

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