In the largest-ever class-action settlement of a U.S. antitrust case, Visa and Mastercard agreed to pay between $5.54 billion and $6.24 billion to a class of more than 12 million merchants who accept the payment networks’ cards, according to a regulatory filing on Sept. 18. But retailers already are gearing up for the next round in their fight with the world’s biggest payment networks.
The total is in line with sums the companies previously set aside to cover the costs of the litigation, Bloomberg reported. But Tuesday’s settlement addresses only monetary damages associated with the lawsuit. Merchants also are fighting for changes to Visa and Mastercard’s business practices.
NATSO quickly issued a statement saying that NATSO is thoroughly reviewing the document but that an initial review indicates that it does nothing to address the problems that merchants and their customers have with swipe fees.
"For the past six years, merchants have continued to pay tens of billions of dollars in fees to credit card companies yet today find themselves without real reform to the credit card payment system, said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings."This deal does not resolve merchants’ concerns about the ability of credit card companies to set inflated fees for all merchants accepting credit and debit card payments nor does it deal with the card company rules that prevent any type of competitive market from taking shape.
"It’s disappointing that in the six years since merchants rejected the last settlement offer that we find ourselves asked to consider another proposal that does not address our core concerns."
NATSO in 2012 along with other merchants rejected a proposed settlement of the antitrust lawsuit alleging that Visa, MasterCard and national banks collude to set artificially high swipe fees.
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