Supreme Court Won't Revive Swipe-Fee Settlement

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Supreme Court Won't Revive Swipe-Fee Settlement

03/27/2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The highest court in the land will not take on a 2012 swipe-fee settlement.

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away a request by banks and retailers to revive a $7.25-billion class action antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard over credit card interchange fees, leaving in place a Second Circuit ruling that the deal did not adequately represent the interests of some merchants, according to Law360.com.

The justices did not comment on their decision.

In late June, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York threw out the $7.25-billion antitrust settlement among Visa, MasterCard and millions of retailers over credit card fees. In the move, the federal appeals court said some of the retailers were inadequately represented in the litigation, as CSNews Online previously reported.

It also decertified the case as a class action.

The court's decision overturned a July 2012 agreement that settled claims that the credit card companies overcharged merchants on swipe fees — also known as interchange fees. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, who has since left the bench, had approved the settlement in 2013.

The settlement had been the largest all-cash antitrust accord in U.S. history. One class of merchants that accepted Visa or MasterCard from January 2004 to November 2012 was to share up to $7.25 billion, while a second class accepting the cards from then on was to get injunctive relief in the form of rule changes.

But many retailers objected, saying the settlement, among other things, forced members of the second class to give up their right to sue over various policies and practices.

Last month, the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association asked the court to let stand the appeals court ruling, as CSNews Online previously reported.