The National Retail Federation (NRF) is among several merchant trade organizations voicing it opposition to the proposed settlement in the antitrust case between retailers and credit card companies Visa and MasterCard.
NRF issued a statement after a revised version of the settlement, which was reached in July, was sent to a federal judge for approval.
“It remains manifestly unfair,” NRF general counsel Mallory Duncan said. “The settlement still does virtually nothing to protect retailers or their customers from the abuses of the card industry, and it attempts to silence any objections for years to come. Retailers would rather take their chances in court than accept this one-sided swindle written by the card industry for the card industry.”
The antitrust lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2005, alleges MasterCard and Visa conspired with some of the largest banks in the country to set the swipe fee a merchant must pay every time customers use their credit cards. NRF says that these fees drive up costs for consumers. Each time a card is swiped at a credit card terminal, they pay an average of 2 percent, totaling about $250 per household each year.
The organization says it opposes the settlement because it does little to address high fees charged in the past and nothing to prevent them from rising higher in the future.
The judge in the case is expected to give opponents 30 days to voice their objections to the deal.