Retailers nix settlement, sue credit card firms
NEW YORK — Some of the country's largest retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy's Inc., on Thursday filed a lawsuit against MasterCard and Visa, rejecting a settlement reached last year over alleged fee-fixing.
A larger group of 19 trade associations and retail companies originally filed suit against the card processing companies in 2005, claiming they conspired to fix the fees they charge stores for handling payments made with credit cards.
A $7.2 billion settlement was reached in July, but some of the retailers rejected it, partially because it includes a provision barring retailers from filing future lawsuits over swipe fees. Some retailers have argued that the settlement amount was far less than what they deserved and might have won at trial.
Earlier this week, the National Retail Federation, which represents more than 9,000 retailers across the country, urged its members to reject the settlement.
The retailers involved in the new lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also include TJX Cos., Office Depot Inc., Kohl's Corp., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and several others.
Visa spokesman Will Valentine declined to comment, while MasterCard spokesman Jim Issokson would say only that his company remains confident that the settlement will ultimately be approved.
Trish Wexler, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Payments Coalition, which counts the companies among its members, said the lawsuit didn't come as a surprise and was the next natural step for retailers opting out of the settlement.
Other retailers have until Tuesday to opt out of the agreement so they can pursue their own legal action.
Visa shares fell $2.04 to $178.10 on Thursday; MasterCard shares fell $6.98 to $569.73.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.