Today, in objections filed with the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York, National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), one of 10 named class plaintiffs in long-standing antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and the largest banks, strongly rebuked the proposed interchange settlement and urged Judge John Gleeson to deny its preliminary approval. The 10 named plaintiffs were joined by thousands of U.S.merchants who share the view that the proposed settlement locks in the broken interchange system rather than imposing meaningful reforms to it.
“The growing and increasingly vocal opposition from the merchant community demonstrates just how ineffective and unacceptable this proposed settlement is,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCGA. “We remain committed to fighting for fair and transparent practices in the industry.”
The other named class plaintiffs opposing the proposed settlement of the case, which is known as “In Re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation,” are Affiliated Foods Midwest, Coborn’s, Inc., D’Agostino Supermarkets, Jetro Holdings, Inc. and Jetro Cash & Carry Enterprises, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), NATSO, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), National Grocers Association (NGA), and National Restaurant Association (NRA).
“The proposed settlement would further entrench Visa and MasterCard anticompetitive practices,” Shrader continued, “and effectively strip our members of their legal rights to fight for real change in court. We simply cannot allow this to happen.”
Oral arguments before the court are scheduled for November 9.