Walmart Sues Visa Over Credit Card Fees
Retail giant Walmart has filed suit against credit card giant Visa. The Arkansas firm is seeking $5 Billion from Visa for conspiring with banks to rig the fees that merchants pay for accepting Visa cards.
According to AFP, Walmart alleges that Visa worked “to illegally fix the interchange fees and inflate the network fees that Walmart and other merchants pay on Visa charge card transactions.”
Walmart, which is no stranger to using its own size to maneuver pricing and terms, further says that “Visa has used its price-fixing schemes to establish, maintain and enhance its long-held market power.”
According to the BBC, when Visa paid out a settlement to other affected retailers for a total of $5.7 Billion over this kind of activity, Walmart and some others opted out of the settlement, preferring to seek their own awards in court.
According to the official court-ordered website about the case, that settlement awarded money to “merchants who have accepted Visa and MasterCard at any time since January 1, 2004.”
“On December 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a Class Settlement among merchants, Visa, MasterCard and other Defendants in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that merchants paid excessive fees for accepting Visa and MasterCard because of an alleged conspiracy among the Defendants.”
Walmart says that the $5 Billion they are seeking would just cover the damages to their business that they say resulted from Visa’s rigging between 2004 and 2012. Even though they are huge themselves, Walmart says they could not simply refuse to accept Visa cards because that “would result in an unacceptable decrease in sales.”
Visa itself had sued Walmart last year in an effort to prevent Walmart from filing the suit.
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