NATSO and other named plaintiffs announced last week they will appeal a federal court decision to grant preliminary approval to a settlement between merchants and Visa, MasterCard and several large banks. Class counsel representing the named plaintiffs reached the settlement with defendants in July. However, a majority of the named plaintiffs (including NATSO) oppose the settlement, with an additional 1,200 merchants filing objections to it. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) each filed amicus briefs in support of the opposition.
"We initially became named plaintiffs to stop credit card networks from establishing high fees and burdensome policies that merchants are forced to accept. In the absence of a fix to the system, the size of the monetary damages in this settlement is meaningless. There is nothing to prevent the credit card networks from turning around and hiking up fees to recoup their losses," said NATSO President & CEO Lisa Mullings. "To force merchants into an 'agreement' with Visa and MasterCard that leaves them worse off than without it -- that just goes against all notions of fairness."
Jeffrey Shinder, managing partner, Constantine Cannon LLC, counsel to the merchants objecting to the proposed settlement, said, "This settlement has fatal legal defects. We look forward to presenting the problems we see in this proposal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The merchant community is deeply committed to reforms that bring transparency and competition to the broken electronic payments market. The volume and diversity of those objecting to this flawed proposal are remarkable and continues to grow," said Shinder.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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