Retailers get $5.7B settlement from Visa, MasterCard

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Dec. 17, 2013 – A federal judge in New York last week approved a $5.7 billion settlement between merchants and Visa and MasterCard over credit and debit fees.

Despite the settlement being the largest in private antitrust history, some retail groups are expected to appeal because they do not think the agreement goes far enough in preventing high fees in the future. The suit was filed in 2008. The settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, requires a reduction of 10 basis points in the interchange rate fee for eight months.

The reduced rate would apply to cards issued by credit unions as well – however, credit unions will not likely be impacted in the immediate future, due to the expected appeal.

NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt said, “NAFCU hopes to see consumer savings as has been promised, and will closely monitor developments for any potential ramifications on credit unions and their members. NAFCU will work to ensure that there is no card discrimination based on the issuing institution, and watch for any chilling effect the new powers granted to merchants may have on credit cards in general.”