the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) criticized the proposed swipe
fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced in
July, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the
anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.
“While Visa and MasterCard’s decision to pursue a
settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers’ claims, the flawed proposal
upholds the networks’ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers
and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in
hidden fees,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We urge
class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a
settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic
payments market is unacceptable.”
If the proposed
settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms. Among
the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and
MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices
and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.
“Retailers are concerned that in
addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement
preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that
could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace,” added
joins numerous other organizations speaking out in opposition to the proposal,
including the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers
Association, the National Cooperative Grocers Association, and the National
Community Pharmacists Association.
RILA is the trade association of
the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include
more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which
together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of
American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and
distribution centers domestically and abroad.