ARLINGTON, Va. ? Joining NACS, SIGMA, Target and Walmart, the National Grocers Association announced this week that it too condemns the terms of the proposed antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard that was announced on July 13.
?NGA joined the lawsuit on behalf of its independent retail grocer members over seven years ago to bring about real reform of the anticompetitive credit card swipe fee system. This proposed settlement agreement fails in this regard by allowing Visa and MasterCard to continue their dominant anticompetitive practices,? said NGA President and CEO Peter Larkin, in a press release.
?Meanwhile, merchants and consumers will continue to pay exorbitant swipe fees with no hope of reform. NGA?s members are also concerned about Visa and MasterCard?s ability to use their dominance to prevent emerging and innovative lower cost payment options,? he said.
Also lending opposition to the proposed antitrust settlement this week is the Vermont Retail Association. Tasha Wallis, executive director of the group, told the Bennington Banner that the Vermont Retail Association opposes the settlement because it will not prevent card companies and banks from continuing to raise fees in the future.
?As far as small, Vermont retailers are concerned, this settlement doesn?t solve the problem they face, which is the market power the credit card companies have and the amount they can charge. There?s nothing in that proposed settlement that addresses that issue,? she said. ?It doesn?t take the kind of bold steps to address the underlying market issues.?
NACS, a class plaintiff in the litigation, continues to hear from retailers and associations also concerned with the terms of the proposed swipe fee antitrust settlement. Because the proposed settlement does not introduce competition and transparency into the broken credit card swipe fee market, the NACS Board of Directors rejected the proposed settlement agreement. NACS was the first class plaintiff to reject the terms of the proposed agreement, but is hopeful that other class plaintiffs will join NACS and NGA in the coming weeks.
NACS suggests that retailers proceed with caution, especially if they get unsolicited sales calls that offer a cut of the settlement funds.
?There is no need to sign any agreements with third parties to obtain settlement funds. We will provide news and updates on a regular basis related to the terms of this proposed settlement and recommend that retailers do their due diligence in going forward,? said NACS Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith.
Beckwith also encouraged retailers to express their opinions regarding the terms of the proposed settlement via local media and in press releases: Tell them what you think of the proposed settlement, and that this issue is far from over. The credit card companies want everyone to think that the lawsuit is settled.
Share what you have done to communicate your opposition to the proposed settlement or share your comments by contacting Lyle Beckwith.