With Daniel Lippman
NEW BUSINESS: Mastercard is jumping into antitrust lobbying for the first time in years. The payment giant hired The Duberstein Group at the end of May to lobby several other issues the company typically lobbies on including payment transactions, cybersecurity, virtual currency, trade and sanctions, and consumer products, according to the newly filed disclosure. But an analysis of filings shows that despite retaining a sizable bench of outside lobbying firms that includes The Raben Group, CGCN Group, Sidley Austin and Tiber Creek Group, Mastercard hasn’t reported lobbying lawmakers on antitrust issues since 2014.
— The move comes amid a wave of antitrust fervor in Washington, with the White House preparing an executive order “aimed at lessening the stranglehold of dominant players in industries ranging from banking and agriculture to shipping and air travel” that could be issued as soon as this week, POLITICO’s Leah Nylen reports.
— Meanwhile, tech critic Lina Khan has taken the reins of the FTC, and the House Judiciary Committee last week marked up a series of antitrust bills targeting Big Tech companies like Amazon, Apple and Google (the committee rejected attempts to broaden provisions that could have swept up payment companies). Another proposed overhaul from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Senate antitrust chair, would crack down on mega-mergers as fintech acquisitions surge.
— Mastercard and rival credit card company Visa were recently hit…