Retail Group: We'll Block Credit-Card Swipe Fee Deal

The National Retail Federation said today it has the go-ahead from its Board of Directors to seek a court-ordered injunction against the proposed $7.25 billion settlement of a federal antitrust lawsuit over Visa and MasterCard “swipe fees.”
The settlement does nothing to ensure that the two card networks won’t increase fees on businesses in the future, the NRF contends.
Banks charge Visa and MasterCard “swipe fees” for each credit or debit transaction between merchants and customers.
“The proposal is a lose-lose-lose for merchants, consumers and competition,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “NRF will take any and all steps necessary to oppose the settlement as it is currently proposed and will work toward real reform of the swipe fee system.”
Combined credit and debit card swipe fees have tripled over the past decade to about $50 billion a year – driving up prices an estimated $427 for the average household, the NRF said.
Debit swipe fees were capped by the Federal Reserve last year.
A resolution approved by its board authorizes the NRF to take steps including “intervention in pending actions” to reach a solution “equitable to the broad merchant community.”
NRF is exploring what form the legal action might take.
The retail group is not a party to the lawsuit, and U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson has not yet fully outlined how outside groups will be allowed to intervene, or if the case qualifies as a class action.

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