Independent sales organizations which deploy ATMs, most often in retail and entertainment venues, have become the latest group to file an objection to a proposed settlement in an interchange case between large credit card deployers and the card brands and retailers.
The National ATM Council, the trade association for the ISOs, filed the objection to the proposed settlement on the grounds that its language would appear to include ISOs in the settlement and because the ISOs are pursuing their own case against the card brands.
As the basis for its objection, the NAC stated that the proposed settlement was sufficiently vague to be improperly read to encompass the interests of the nation’s independent ATM operators, despite the fact that no ATM providers have been parties to the case and no specific ATM issues have been raised in the proceeding or addressed by the terms of the proposed settlement.
The trade group also pointed out to the court that the specific antitrust issues involving alleged anti-competitive conduct by VISA and MasterCard in the ATM industry are the subject of separate and distinct antitrust litigation now pending before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“NAC is pleased that the proposed settlement by VISA and MasterCard represents an effort to address claimed anticompetitive conduct by these companies in the merchants’ setting,” said NAC Executive Director Bruce Renard. “Likewise, NAC remains committed to vigorously pursuing relief from the anticompetitive price fixing conduct exhibited by these same firms in the ATM sector.”
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson is hearing the NAC’s antitrust class action law suit in a consolidated case with several related consumer class action cases filed against VISA and MasterCard for alleged anticompetitive price fixing in the context of ATM network and transaction services, the association said.