Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York was to hold a hearing Friday to address preliminary approval of the interchange settlement between retailers, payment networks and nine major card issuers.
"Today marks another important step toward bringing closure to the long battle over interchange fees,” said Trish Wexler, spokesman for the Electronic Payments Coalition, an industry trade group organized around the interchange issue.
“After seven years of negotiation, two years of mediation, and compromise by both sides, the parties have struck a fair and reasonable settlement to their disputes,” Wexler said. “We remain highly confident that preliminary, and ultimately final, approval will be granted – in spite of the self-serving objections being lodged by some retail lobbying groups. The end of the epic battle between merchants and the payments industry is near.”
Some of that disapproval came from the National Retail Federation on Friday when the organization released a statement.
“This proposal benefits no one but lawyers and credit card companies, and should not be forced on the retail industry or retailers’ customers,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “It’s a morass of legal flaws, and rather than bringing about reform it would only entrench the anticompetitive behavior of the card companies while putting them beyond the reach of the law. It should be rejected on its face.”