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Visa, MasterCard still fixing card fees, merchants say

Nov 03 2011 Reuters

NEW YORK - Nearly eight years after Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc agreed to pay more than $3 billion to resolve allegations that they conspired to raise stores' fees for processing their payment cards, merchants returned to court on Wednesday to argue that the card companies still maintain a costly stranglehold on interchange networks. U.S. District Judge John Gleeson heard oral arguments in Brooklyn federal court from a slate of lawyers representing the credit card companies, their issuing banks and the merchants over whether to proceed to trial on the latest round of antitrust allegations against the card companies' and banks' interchange networks, which process customers' credit- and debit-card payments to stores. The case raises similar claims to another consolidated set of cases in Brooklyn federal court, first filed by retailers including Wal-Mart and Sears in 1996. Visa and MasterCard settled those cases with a $3.05 billion payout to merchants. But that settlement

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