Target, Macy's sue Visa and Mastercard for alleged fee-fixing

Target, Macy's, and other major US retailers are suing Mastercard and Visa, rejecting a settlement reached last year. The suit claims Visa and Mastercard conspired to fix the fees they charge stores for handling payments made with credit cards.

By

  • close
    Signs for Visa and Mastercard credit cards are displayed on a store window in New York. The credit card companies are facing a lawsuit from major US retailers alleging they conspired to fix swipe fees in stores.
    View Caption

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 that 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 also have argued that the settlement amount was far less than what they deserved and might have won at trial.

Recommended: Five ways to get the most from your credit card

Earlier this week, the National Retail Federation, which represents more than 9,000 retailers across the country, urged its members to reject the settlement, in part, because of the provision barring future lawsuits.

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 comment, while MasterCard spokesman Jim Issokson would only say 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. Retailers who do not opt out by the deadline will automatically be considered to have accepted the settlement.

In afternoon trading, Visa Inc. shares fell $2.13 to $178.01, while MasterCard Inc. shares fell $7.89 to $568.82.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...