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Wal-Mart Sues Visa Claiming Card Transaction Fee Conspiracy For $5B

Wal-Mart Sues Visa Claiming Card Transaction Fee Conspiracy For $5B

The world’s biggest retailer seeks at least $5 billion in damages for what it claims are violations of federal antitrust laws that could triple that sum. Wal-Mart, one of dozens of large merchants that dropped out of a nationwide, multibillion dollar antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard Inc. to pursue their own lawsuits, filed its complaint in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 25.

“Visa’s monopoly power has enabled it to dictate price and inhibit competition,” Wal-Mart said in its complaint.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on March 21 rejected a challenge by Wal-Mart, Target Corp. and other retailers to federal rules governing how much banks can collect for debit card transactions, leaving in place an October 2011 rule capping the average swipe fee at about 24 cents per transaction.

While banks had objected to the limit, retailers contended that if the Federal Reserve, which set the rate, had followed the law the fees they paid on each swipe of a customer’s card would have been cut more and network competition enhanced.

Source: Washington Post

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