Credit cardsSeveral large retailers accuse MasterCard Inc. (NYSE: MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) of setting unfair fees that damage the retailers' sales prospects and margins while enriching the credit card companies.

Bloomberg reports on the retailers' suit:

Target Corp. (TGT) and Macy's Inc. (M) joined with 15 other retailers in suing Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. (MA) over credit-card and debit-card fees after dropping out of a multibillion-dollar settlement of a similar case.

The biggest U.S. payment card firms illegally restrained competition for interchange fees by setting default rates and imposing almost identical rules for accepting cards, the retailers said yesterday in a federal court complaint in New York.

In the previous antitrust suit pending in Brooklyn federal court, dozens of large retailers including Target and Macy's opposed a $7.25 billion proposed settlement, alleging it gave Visa and MasterCard too much freedom to raise rates in the future.

"Plaintiffs have paid and continue to pay significantly higher costs to accept Visa-branded and MasterCard-branded credit and debit cards than they would if the banks issuing such cards competed for merchant acceptance," lawyers for the retailers said in yesterday's complaint.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Business Services, Law Tagged: MA, V

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