ARLINGTON, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association on Wednesday said it opposes the proposed settlement of antitrust litigation against credit-card companies related to interchange fees and is encouraging plaintiffs to reject the settlement.
Visa, MasterCard and their member banks in July proposed settling the lawsuits, which allege that they colluded to set interchange fees artificially high, by paying merchant plaintiffs $6.05 billion, plus an estimated $1.2 billion in value through a temporary reduction in interchange fees.
“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy in a statement. “We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable.”
Read more: Co-Op Group Rejects Interchange Settlement
Among the proposed terms that RILA said concern retailers are the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices, and terms that the association said could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.
Other organizations and companies that have opposed the settlement include National Association of Convenience Stores, National Grocers Association, National Cooperative Grocers Association and National Community Pharmacists Association.
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