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Monday, July 16, 2012

Retailers win $7.25B in Settlement Over Credit Card Fees

English: First 4 digits of a credit card
English: First 4 digits of a credit card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
July 14–Visa, MasterCard and 13 of the country's biggest banks have agreed to pay $7.25 billion to settle accusations by retailers that they engaged in price-fixing on credit card transaction fees. The settlement, on behalf of about 7 million retailers, could be the largest antitrust class-action settlement in U.S. history and is expected to alter the price structure around the plastic cards that are a central feature of U.S. commerce. Retailers alleged that the collusion resulted in a monopoly, with merchants forced for years to fork over ever higher fees to process the credit cards their customers use, driving up costs for consumers. But while the deal promises to put money in the pockets of millions of retailers, it appears the controversy is far from over. Appeals are anticipated, and already one major retailers group has rejected the agreement, called it a “mirage” that doesn’t go far enough. K. Craig Wildfang, an antitrust lawyer in Minneapolis with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi and lead counsel for the class plaintiffs, said his group will likely file for preliminary approval in September. It could be 18 to 24 months before money is distributed, he said. The accord, filed Friday in Brooklyn in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, comes after weeks of intense negotiations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. ... Contiue to read.
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