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Trade Group Rejects $7.25B Deal that Allows Retailers to Charge More for Credit Card Purchases

Posted Jul 16, 2012 10:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A trade group that represents convenience stores is rejecting a price-fixing settlement with the credit card industry that is valued at $7.25 billion.

The settlement announced Friday affects Visa, MasterCard and several major banks, report the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal. Merchants and trade groups had sued over the fees—typically 2 percent to 5 percent of the purchase that are charged with every swipe of a debit or credit card. The deal is subject to a judge's approval.

The National Association of Convenience Stores was one of the largest plaintiffs in the case, the Post says. It called the settlement a “mirage” that doesn’t address the issue of the credit card industry’s control over merchants. The group has hired law firms Constantine Cannon and Steptoe & Johnson to mount the challenge, the Wall Street Journal says.

The settlement would pay plaintiffs $6.05 billion and would reduce fees for eight months to allow new negotiating rules to take effect, a benefit valued at $1.2 billion. The rules allow merchants to raise prices for purchases made with credit cards.

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