Earlier this week, we covered the latest developments in the anti-trust settlement against Visa and MasterCard that comes in at $7.25 billion. This stems from eight years of litigation following a lawsuit that claims the card companies were using unlawful card swipe fees. It seemed as though this was finally being put on the back burner as a settlement was reached in December, but some organizations are seeking an appeal.
Now, this saga has taken an interesting turn as Law 360 is reporting that nearly 30 retailers have filed a new anti-trust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard claiming a conspiracy to fix credit card swipe fees with collusion from banks. The suit is backed by companies like HP, Toys R Us, Forever 21 and others.
On top of the swipe fee allegations, the defendants also impose illegal prohibitions on the merchants that ensures card companies would not compete against each other for customers. The goal is to target the restraints that Visa and MasterCard imposed on retailers, barring them from charging customers different prices based on the costs imposed by the card companies.
"The conspiracy has unreasonably restricted competition in the alleged relevant markets … and has allowed Visa and MasterCard to extract supracompetitve, artificially inflated interchange fees from each plaintiff," the article reads.
It seems as though the legal troubles surrounding credit card processing software and swipe fees are only just beginning. Hopefully it will not take another eight years to sort out. Regardless, merchants need to pay attention to any news that could be coming out of this.