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Credit card wars: Wal-Mart sues Visa over transaction 'conspiracy'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/28/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Wal-Mart seeking at least $5 billion in damages.

In an ongoing war over credit cards in the modern retail environment, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is suing Visa Inc. for allegedly conspiring with banks to fix transaction fees. It's just the latest in a long, ongoing legal fight between retailers and card issuers.

Wal-Mart objects to the requirement that retailers who want to accept any payments via Visa honor all issuers' Visa-branded cards.

Wal-Mart objects to the requirement that retailers who want to accept any payments via Visa honor all issuers' Visa-branded cards.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/28/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Wal-Mrt, Visa, transaction fees, lawsuit


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer is seeking at least $5 billion in damages. Wal-Mart is accusing Visa for what it claims are violations of federal antitrust laws - and that sum could triple.

One of dozens of large merchants that dropped out of a nationwide, multibillion dollar antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard Inc. Wal-Mart has elected to pursue their own lawsuits. The company filed its complaint in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 25.

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"Visa's monopoly power has enabled it to dictate price and inhibit competition," Wal-Mart said in its complaint.

The lawsuit is now worth about $5.7 billion after reductions for original merchants bowed out. The suit was initially valued at $7.25 billion.

Visa sued the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer in June to try to stop it from bringing its own case, saying in a complaint filed in Brooklyn that it sought to prevent "the continuation of endless, wasteful litigation between the parties."

Wal-Mart contends that the card company's conduct caused it to suffer "enormous damage" from January 2004 to late November 2012. No banks are named as defendants in the case.

Wal-Mart objects to the requirement that retailers who want to accept any payments via Visa honor all issuers' Visa-branded cards.

According to Wal-Mart's complaint, "There is no competition because merchants are prevented from realizing the price-reducing benefits that would result if issuers competed" over the fees they charged retailers, who agreed to accept their cards for payment.

The settlement of the case in Brooklyn followed years of tension over interchange fees that amount to as much as two percent of a sale paid for with a credit card. Retailers and trade associations opposed to the accord contended it didn't pay enough in damages and unfairly blocked all U.S. merchants from suing over fees in the future.

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