Could Real Swipe Fee Relief Be On the Way?

Some speculate Visa and MasterCard could settle lawsuit before September Court date.

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. are reportedly prepared to settle a seven-year lawsuit brought by retailers, regarding swipe fee costs, sometime late this month—even as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported.

The deal may include payments to retailers and a temporary cut in interchange rates, according to Bloomberg.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley reported that top-level Visa and MasterCard executives have participated in talks on the agreement, however such an agreement could still be delayed or collapse.

If the companies are prepared to settle, it would end a dispute that began in 2005, a year prior to MasterCard’s initial public offering and three years ahead of Visa’s. Merchants alleged the two firms violated antitrust law by fixing swipe fees, which average 2% of the purchase price. The proceeds go to card-issuing banks, generating more than $40 billion a year for U.S. lenders.

Provided an agreement is reached, the trial set to begin in September before U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, N.Y. would be avoided.

 

 

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