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Retail association opts out of billion-dollar settlement

RILA said the credit card fee agreement is a “bad deal”

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced yesterday that it will reject a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement that it says is a “bad deal” for millions of U.S. merchants.

The $7.2 billion proposed settlement would resolve a case that began eight years ago. The suit, which was brought on behalf of U.S. merchants, accused Visa and Mastercard of artificially raising swipe fees that merchants pay to process credit card payments. RILA, which represents some of the largest U.S. retailers, said it plans to “make a statement” by opting out of the settlement just as counsel were preparing to file for approval from a federal judge.

"We do have the support from a large majority of our membership for opting out and objecting, and we want to make sure we're shedding light on what the true ramifications are for the proposed settlement," RILA GC Deborah White told Thomson Reuters.

The settlement is potentially the largest private antitrust settlement in U.S. history. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson has already given it preliminary approval.

According to RILA, its decision to opt out may lead to other merchants also opting out. If they do, they will not receive any of the monetary benefits awarded under the settlement agreement.

Read more about recent settlements on InsideCounsel:

Exotic dancers reach $8 million settlement with gentlemen’s club over alleged wage and hour violations

Tyson pays more than $4 million to settle gas exposure suit

American Airlines and Orbitz settle long-running suit

Judge will approve settlement in Madoff feeder fund case


Cathleen Flahardy

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