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National Restaurant Association - Interchange Fees

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Interchange Fees

Case: In Re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation

Status: Pending

Issue: We are engaged in a long-running class-action antitrust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over the “swipe fees” that restaurants and other merchants pay card companies and processing banks when guests pay by credit or debit card. We argue that the fees are anti-competitive, and reflect a broken marketplace for setting these fees.

  • The NRA joined the class-action litigation in 2006 as one of 18 named plaintiffs, and the only named plaintiff representing the restaurant industry.
  • In 2012, Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York approved a controversial settlement under which the card networks and banks agreed to pay billions of dollars to merchants, but with significant strings attached, including requiring merchants to release future legal claims. We objected to the flawed settlement, which doesn’t address the fundamental problem – the broken marketplace for swipe fees.
  • In September 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed, ruling that the settlement was “unreasonable and inadequate.” The court's ruling sends the case back for further litigation.
  • We are also planning to file an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a petition filed by a settlement supporter in Photos Etc., et al. v. Home Depot, et al. to reinstate the 2012 settlement.

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