USPIRG joins Consumer Reports and AELP to file objection to unfair interchange fee court settlement

Media Contacts
USPIRG joined AELP and Consumer Reports (CR) in objecting to the proposed  settlement of the Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation.
As we explain, the proposed settlement falls far short of a fair and reasonable outcome, as it fails to sufficiently address anticompetitive behavior and promote competition in the interchange fee system. “Each of our organizations is a member of the Rule 23(b)(2) Class due to our organizations’ acceptance of Visa and Mastercard payments and the proposed settlement’s prohibition on Class members opting out.” Instead in exchange for minimal and temporary credit interchange rate reductions, all merchants and acceptors of card payments would be compelled under the proposed settlement to irrevocably waive all claims against Visa and Mastercard regarding their excessive interchange fees. The settlement also explicitly allows for surcharges that will be passed on to consumers forever as the detailed objection explains:
“At its core, the proposed settlement would enable Visa and Mastercard to continue fixing interchange fees on behalf of their card issuers in perpetuity, and would enable them to do so without the prospect of having those fees constrained by potential challenges in court.”
USPIRG and Consumers Union objected to an earlier version of this unfair settlement, in 2012. (The court rejected it.) We’ve been fighting anticompetitive swipe fees for a long time!