NRF continues to blast swipe-fee settlement

The National Retail Federation today formally filed an appeal of the antitrust lawsuit settlement covering credit card swipe fees.

The retail group called on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling. 

The settlement does nothing to reform the price-fixing payments system that has let credit card swipe fees skyrocket over the past decade and nothing to keep them from continuing to soar in the future," said NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan in a prepared statement.

"Instead of lowering fees, the card industry’s settlement proposes that merchants pass them along to consumers in the form of surcharges. That is absolutely the opposite of what retailers sought, and major retailers have soundly rejected surcharging."

Surcharging can be seen at certain gas stations, for instance, where credit card purchases are advertised with one rate, and cash purchases have another, lower rate.

Duncan described the settlement as an abuse of the class action system.

“The only people pleased with this settlement are Visa and MasterCard, because it means they can continue collecting tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees; the class action lawyers who stand to collect half a billion dollars in fees without fixing the problem; and a lower court, which has cleared a time-consuming case off its docket, but has done a serious disservice to merchants and the public in the process," Duncan said.

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