ARLINGTON, Va.-- In a letter sent to House and Senate Leaders, a group of associations representing merchants of all sizes across all segments of the retail community highlighted the reasons behind the growing opposition to a proposed settlement of longstanding antitrust lawsuits filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the nation's largest banks.
If ultimately approved in court, the terms of the proposed settlement would apply to all eight million U.S. merchants and any organization that might choose to accept Visa or MasterCard at any point in the future.
"The proposed settlement, which was negotiated by Visa, MasterCard and lawyers purporting to represent the merchant community, is one-sided and preserves the very anticompetitive actions that were the genesis of the lawsuits. Quite simply, the proposed settlement is a bad deal for merchants and their customers. While the card networks and their representatives have suggested it is a fait accompli, the growing objections from the merchant community foreshadow the fight that lies ahead as Visa and MasterCard attempt to force the terms of the settlement on nearly eight million merchants," said the organizations that signed the letter, including NACS, NATSO and SIGMA, as well as he National Association of College Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Grocers Association and the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
Among the many reasons cited for their objections is that the settlement:
"Given the important oversight role of Congress and your continued interest in this important issue, we write today to urge you to reject the false claims from the card networks and their representatives. The proposed settlement does nothing to resolve the failures in the electronic payment market and continued Congressional involvement in these issues is imperative. We look forward to keeping you fully informed as the legal process moves forward and the chorus of objections grows," said the letter.
Click here to read the full text of the letter.