Retailers Continue to Battle Credit Card Settlement
The majority of plaintiffs named in the record $6 billion class-action settlement with Visa and MasterCard are now mounting an eleventh-hour effort to block the settlement.
Ten of the 19 trade groups and retailers feel the settlement leaves issuers with too much control over swipe fees and prevents further litigation. They feel the industry could continue to take advantage of merchants and their customers.
The proposed agreement was reached in July and was the largest antitrust class-action settlement in history. MasterCard, Visa and major banks agreed to pay more than $6 billion to resolve accusations that they engaged in anticompetitive practices and price fixing in payment processing. In addition, credit card companies agreed to reduce swipe fees for eight months, an adjustment valued at $1.2 billion.
Next week, a motion seeking preliminary approval of the settlement could be filed and approved by U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn. Trade groups and merchants hope their objections convince him to not approve it. Then, merchants would have thirty days to submit arguments urging the court to reject the proposal.
Two more plaintiffs recently came out in opposition to the settlement. The ten plaintiffs opposing the settlement are the National Association of Convenience Stores, National Restaurant Association, National Cooperative Grocers Association, NATSO, National Grocers Association, National Community Pharmacists Association, Jetro Holdings and Jetro Cash & Carry Enterprises, Coborn’s Inc., Affiliated Foods Midwest and D’Agostino Supermarkets.
The world’s two largest retail chains, Walmart and Target, have also voiced their opposition to the settlement.