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Visa/MasterCard credit card fee settlement with retailers moves forward

Opposition from retail giants not derailing progress of largest antitrust settlement in history

Despite opposition from some of the country’s largest retailers, the biggest antitrust settlement in history is chugging right along.

The $7.2 billion whopper of a deal, between a class of retailers and Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and several banks, is meant to resolve allegations that the credit card companies and banks conspired to fix credit and debit card use fees, known as swipe fees, which cost stores every time a customer makes a purchase using a card. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants would pay $6 billion to the class, and reduce the swipe fees for eight months, resulting in savings of $1.2 billion.

Wal-Mart, Target and the National Association of Convenience Stores all expressed disapproval for the settlement, mainly because it allows the credit card companies to raise the fees again in the future.

But in spite of the resistance from some heavyweight players, the plaintiffs are not planning to make any changes to the proposed settlement before submitting it for preliminary approval by Oct. 19, according to co-lead counsel Craig Wildfang.

"We're going as fast as we can - not as fast as we'd like, but we're making progress," Wildfang told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein during a hearing in Brooklyn federal court.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


Follow InsideCounsel’s coverage of the case:

Wal-Mart disapproves of $7.25 billion credit card fee settlement

Visa, MasterCard and banks agree to $7.25 billion settlement over credit card price fixing allegations

Merchants say card companies’ liable for more than $10 billion in damages

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