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$7.2 billion Visa/MasterCard credit card fee settlement gets preliminary approval

Objectors will get their say in court before judge decides on final approval

Despite heavy opposition from powerhouse retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target, the $7.2 billion settlement between Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and several banks on one side, and a class of merchants on the other, has received preliminary approval.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson granted the deal preliminary approval on Friday, leaving it only the hurdle of final approval to leap over before becoming the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history. Before that, though, Gleeson will schedule a hearing to allow the objectors to the settlement a chance to be heard.

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