Walmart issues statement in opposition to proposed interchange fee settlement

Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. issued a statement on Tuesday indicating its position on the proposed settlement with Visa and MasterCard over credit card fees.

"Walmart, along with a growing number of consumer groups and merchants, is disappointed in the proposed credit card interchange fee settlement,” read the statement. “The proposed settlement would not structurally change the broken market or prohibit credit card networks from continually increasing hidden swipe fees, which already cost consumers tens of billions of dollars each year. The proposed settlement would require merchants to broadly waive their rights to take action against the credit card networks for detrimental conduct or acts. We believe the proposed settlement would also constrain emerging payments innovation.

“As Walmart continues to seek reform that will provide transparency and true competition among financial institutions, we encourage all merchants to put consumers first and reject the settlement,” concluded the statement.

Wal-Mart Stores is one of a growing group of retailers opposed to the proposed $7.25 billion settlement, which, they say, would not change a "broken" system of what credit card companies charge retailers for processing credit and debit card payments.

The class-action settlement, which is subject to court approval, is intended to resolve merchants' claims that Visa and MasterCard conspired with major banks to fix swipe fees.

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