Ruling on $7.2B Swipe Fee Settlement Expected

From: Convenience Store News

ASHINGTON, D.C. — Retailers concerned about the outcome of the class-action swipe-fee settlement with Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and other financial institutions are holding their breath as they await a major step in the case and its controversial settlement terms. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is expected to issue a ruling on the motion to appeal preliminary approval of the settlement tomorrow, Jan. 29, reported NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.

In December 2012, the court denied a request from Home Depot Inc. and other merchants to expedite the appeals process, stating it was deferring briefing for an appeal of the settlement until the preliminary deal receives final approval from the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

The $7.2-billion settlement would pay approximately $6 billion to a class of stores and temporarily reduce swipe fees by $1.2 billion total. NACS rejected the settlement in July 2012, along with most other named plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The proposed settlement terms fail to introduce competition and transparency into the credit card swipe fee market, according to NACS Chairman Tom Robinson. The association plans to release an analysis of the ruling once it is released.

NACS also noted that class counsel may begin sending notices of the settlement to approximately eight million merchants as soon as tomorrow.

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