The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear an appeal brought by several New York businesses in the case Expressions Hair Design et al. v. Schneiderman et al.
The petitioners in the case argue that a New York law prohibiting surcharging on credit card purchases violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. The federal district court judge who first heard the case agreed with the merchants but was overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the law was constitutionally consistent with the First Amendment because the law governed behavior not speech. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals took a contrary position to a nearly identical law, which set up a split among the circuits that was highly problematic for national retailers.
"We welcome the court's review of this important issue," said Deborah White, executive vice president and general counsel. "Retailers believe that transparency and competition are absent from the broken debit and credit card markets. Retailers should be free to communicate the cost of credit and debit card transactions to customers at the point of purchase. The inability to do so in some jurisdictions denies customers access to information that could affect purchase decisions and further emboldens Visa and MasterCard to charge higher and higher fees."
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.