Retailers are busy with the holiday shopping season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have time to contest a settlement they find unfair.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson granted preliminary approval to what could be the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history. The $7.2 billion deal between a class of retailers, Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and several banks would resolve seven years of litigation concerning allegations that the credit card companies and banks conspired to fix credit and debit card use fees—also known as swipe fees. Stores are charged fees every time a customer makes a purchase using a card, resulting in more than $30 billion in swipe fees a year. Under the terms of the settlement, which would cover nearly 8 million merchants, the defendants would pay $6 billion to the class and reduce the swipe fees for eight months, which would result in $1.2 billion in savings.