ARLINGTON, VA - The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) criticized the proposed swipe fee settlement and urged class plaintiffs to reject the proposal. Announced July 13, the proposed settlement stems from lawsuits challenging the anticompetitive swipe fee practices of Visa and MasterCard.
"While Visa and MasterCard€™s decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers€™ claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks€™ anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees," said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable."
If the proposed settlement is ultimately approved, all retailers will be bound by its terms. Among the many proposed terms that concern retailers is the release of Visa and MasterCard from any future legal claims related to their interchange practices and terms that could stifle emerging innovations, such as mobile payments.
"Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace," added Kennedy.
RILA joins numerous other organizations speaking out in opposition to the proposal, including NACS, the National Grocers Association (NGA), the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).
RILA represents more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
So far nearly 60 retail companies and the following retail trade associations have also stated their opposition to the proposed settlement:
- Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association
- Georgia Association of Convenience Stores
- Independent Oil Marketers Association of New England (IOMA)
- Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association
- Montana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
- Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA)
- Tennessee Fuel and Convenience Store Association
- Texas Food and Fuel Association
- Utah Petroleum Marketers and Retailers Association
- Vermont Grocers Association
- Vermont Retail Association
- West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association (OMEGA)
To voice your opposition to the proposed settlement and add you company or association name to the list, please contact NACS Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith.