Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit

Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit/AP
Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit/AP
Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit/AP
Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit/AP

Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit

Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit

Visa and Mastercard to reduce swipe fees, settling lawsuit

Visa, Mastercard, and major U.S. banks have reached a settlement with merchants after nearly two decades of legal battles over credit card swipe fees. In the agreement, the networks and banks will reduce merchant fees by 0.04 percentage points and maintain the lower rates for five years.

Changes to Benefit Merchants

The proposed settlement introduces changes to give merchants more flexibility in accepting cards and the ability to guide consumers to lower-fee cards. Small businesses will also gain the option to negotiate swipe fees collectively, akin to large retailers.

Legal Hurdles and Approval Process

Final approval from a federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., is required for the settlement, a process that could face challenges given the diverse range of merchants involved. Previous deals have endured lengthy legal proceedings, including rulings and appeals.

Responses from Stakeholders

Visa and Mastercard express support for the settlement, with Visa noting concessions to benefit small businesses. The merchants’ legal team views the agreement as providing immediate relief and removing constraints on their operations.

Background and Implications

The lawsuit, initiated in 2005, alleged collusion among card networks and banks to inflate interchange fees. While part of the suit has been settled previously, this agreement addresses remaining concerns about the card networks’ competitive practices.

Ongoing Challenges for Visa and Mastercard

Beyond this settlement, Visa and Mastercard face legislative efforts to regulate credit card fees and increase competition in the payment industry. The Justice Department’s antitrust investigation into debit cards further adds to their legal challenges.

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