NATSO Joins Retail Groups Asking Congress to Reject Claims by Visa, MasterCard

In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders last Thursday, NATSO joined a group of associations representing retailers to highlight the reasons behind the growing opposition to the proposed settlement of the long-standing antitrust lawsuit filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the nation’s largest banks. The associations urged Congress to reject the false claims from the card networks writing that the proposed settlement does nothing to resolve the failures in the electronic payment market.

“The proposed settlement, which was negotiated by Visa, MasterCard and lawyers purporting to represent the merchant community, is one-sided and preserves the very anticompetitive actions that were the genesis of the lawsuits. Quite simply, the proposed settlement is a bad deal for merchants and their customers,” wrote the organizations.

Among the many reasons cited for their objections is that the settlement:

  • Entrenches the Visa/MasterCard duopoly, 
  • Enables continued centralized price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard,
  • Allows Visa and MasterCard to continue to handcuff merchants and prevent them from seeking better deals and communicating openly with their customers, 
  • Forbids merchants from opting out of restrictive new rules set forth in the proposal, 
  • Gives Visa and MasterCard the ability to keep market forces from working by keeping prices hidden, 
  • Makes all current and future merchants – even those that are not yet in existence - forever surrender their legal rights, and 
  • Limits emerging innovations that can bring meaningful competition to the marketplace, such as mobile payments.

NATSO signed onto the letter, along with NACS, National Association of College Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Cooperative Grocers Association, National Grocers Association, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.


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