Retailers charge that proposed Visa/MasterCard interchange settlement unacceptable

ARLINGTON, Va. — Retailers are up in arms over the proposed settlement filed in July of antitrust lawsuits filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the nation's largest banks. A total of nine associations representing a broad swath of retail industry expressed their reservations to members of Congress on Thursday, charging that their interests were not represented and asking Congress to reject that settlement.

“The proposed settlement, which was negotiated by Visa, MasterCard and lawyers purporting to represent the merchant community, is one-sided and preserves the very anticompetitive actions that were the genesis of the lawsuits," the collective associations suggested. "Quite simply, the proposed settlement is a bad deal for merchants and their customers. While the card networks and their representatives have suggested it is a fait accompli, the growing objections from the merchant community foreshadow the fight that lies ahead as Visa and MasterCard attempt to force the terms of the settlement on nearly 8 million merchants.”

“Given the important oversight role of Congress and your continued interest in this important issue, we write today to urge you to reject the false claims from the card networks and their representatives. The proposed settlement does nothing to resolve the failures in the electronic payment