The Retail Industry Leaders
Association (RILA) issued the following statement following the submission of
the proposed class action interchange fee settlement to the court for
preliminary approval. The proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the
anticompetitive sw ipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.
RILA will formally object to
the proposed settlement in the coming weeks when they will invite comments from
the 8 million merchants subject to the terms of the deal.
“The proposal is
unacceptable in every way and we look forward to making our case to the courts
that this one-sided deal should be rejected,” said RILA President Sandy
Kennedy. “The outrage
within the retail community over this flawed proposal and the harm that it will
cause cannot be understated.
“The proposed class
action settlement not only preserves the broken debit and credit markets, but
it also denies retailers their future legal rights and effectively forces
merchants to fund the settlement through unrestrained interchange fees in
perpetuity,” said Kennedy.
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.
The Proposed Settlement:
- Lacks the
support of a majority of the named class plaintiffs in the case. In
fact, a majority of the 19 class plaintiffs have publicly stated that they
will ask the court to reject the deal,
the centralized price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard that was the genesis
of the antitrust claims,
all merchants, present and future, from opting out of restrictive new
rules set forth in the proposal,
- Makes all
current and future merchants surrender their legal rights to challenge the
networks onerous interchange rules in court,
emerging innovations that can bring meaningful competition to the
marketplace, such as mobile payments, and
Visa and MasterCard to continue to handcuff merchants and prevent them
from seeking better deals and communicating openly with their customers.