Merchant Community Rebukes Visa/MasterCard Class Action Settlement
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012
Named plaintiffs, joined by nearly 1,200 U.S. merchants, vow to continue fight
for real credit card fee reform
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --In objections served today
in the long-standing antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and the
largest banks pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
New York, a majority of the named class plaintiffs strongly rebuked the
proposed interchange settlement and urged the court to deny its preliminary
approval. The 10 named plaintiffs were joined by nearly 1,200 small businesses
and recognized brands that share the view that the proposed settlement locks
in the broken interchange system rather than imposing meaningful reforms.
"The vocal opposition from such a substantial and diverse portion of the
merchant community demonstrates just how ineffective and unacceptable this
proposed settlement is," said Dave Carpenter, president and CEO, J.D.
Carpenter Companies and chairman of the National Association of Convenience
Stores. "The proposed settlement is simply a bad deal that further entrenches
the anticompetitive practices of the Visa and MasterCard duopoly and denies
merchants of their legal right to fight for real changes in court."
The named class plaintiffs opposing the proposed settlement of the case, which
is known as "In Re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount
Antitrust Litigation," are Affiliated Foods Midwest, Coborn's, Inc.,
D'Agostino Supermarkets, Jetro Holdings LLC, National Association of
Convenience Stores (NACS), NATSO, National Community Pharmacists Association
(NCPA), National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), National Grocers
Association (NGA), and National Restaurant Association (NRA).
The named class plaintiffs were joined in multiple briefs in the action from a
growing chorus of members of the merchant class, including nearly 1,200 small
businesses and recognized brands, such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Alon,
American Signature, Inc., Ascena Retail Group, Inc., AutoZone, Best Buy, Big
Lots Stores, Inc., Boscov's Department Store, LLC, Chico's FAS, Inc., CKE
Restaurants, Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Crate & Barrel, Cumberland Farms,
Dick's Sporting Goods, Dillard's, Inc., Dollar General, Expedia, The Gap,
Inc., Giant Eagle, IKEA, J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Jo-Ann Stores, Kum and
Go, Kwik Trip, Limited Brands, Inc., Lowe's, Macy's, Inc., Michaels, The
Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., Papa John's International, Inc., Petco, REI
(Recreational Equipment, Inc.), RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., Saks Incorporated,
ShopKo, Sports Authority, Starbucks, Target Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., Wawa, Wendy's, and a variety of associations including the American
Booksellers Association, and National Association of College Stores, National
Retail Federation, and Retail Industry Leaders Association.
"The proposed settlement strips merchants of their legal rights and will
actually make the anticompetitive problems with credit and debit cards worse
than they are today," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "And, the
settlement risks giving Visa and MasterCard a free hand to strangle newly
emerging competition in the mobile payments market in the cradle."
Oral arguments before the court are scheduled for November 9.
Objecting Plaintiffs' Opposition to Class Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary
Approval of Proposed Class Settlement
SOURCE National Grocers Association
Contact: Hayley McConnell, HMcConnell@NationalGrocers.org, (703) 516-8808
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