Retailers Appeal Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

The National Retail Federation is appealing a $7.25 billion antitrust lawsuit settlement over credit card swipe fees. Last month, a judge approved the settlement between retailers and credit card companies, however, the NRF says the deal still doesn't protect retailers from future fee hikes.

"The settlement does nothing to reform the price-fixing payments system that has let credit card swipe fees skyrocket over the past decade and nothing to keep them from continuing to soar in the future," said Mallory Duncan, senior vice president of the NRF. "Instead of lowering fees, the card industry's settlement proposes that merchants pass them along to consumers in the form of surcharges. That is absolutely the opposite of what retailers sought, and major retailers have soundly rejected surcharging."

The federation said nearly 8,000 retailers and merchants rejected the settlement, including Target (NYSE:TGT) and Macy's (NYSE: M), in part because of a provision that barred future lawsuits.

The battle between retailers and credit card companies has lasted for seven years now, as both parties continue to disagree over the fees charged for processing credit card transactions. Merchants first sued Visa and MasterCard in 2005, accusing the two companies of fixing the fees charged to merchants each time their customers used their credit or debit cards.  U.S. credit card swipe fees have tripled in the past decade, and retailers maintain that the credit card companies are overcharging merchants for each swipe while preventing them from steering customers to cheaper forms of payments.

For more see:
-This National Retail Federation press release

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