Merchants make appeal on card-fee settlement

Price fixing

A group of associations representing the merchant community have sent a letter to House and Senate leaders, highlighting the reasons behind the growing opposition to a proposed settlement of long-standing antitrust lawsuits filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the nation’s largest banks (view press release). The group claims that the settlement entrenches the Visa/MasterCard duopoly, enables continued centralised price-fixing by Visa and MasterCard, allows Visa and MasterCard to continue to handcuff merchants and prevent them from seeking better deals and communicating openly with their customers, forbids merchants from opting out of restrictive new rules set forth in the proposal and gives Visa and MasterCard the ability to keep market forces from working by keeping prices hidden. They also assert that the settlement makes all current and future merchants forever surrender their legal rights.  

If ultimately approved in court, the terms of the proposed settlement would apply to around 8 million U.S. merchants and any organisation that might choose to accept Visa or MasterCard at any point in the future.

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