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NEW YORK – At press time, Wall Street card industry analysts anticipated that VISA and MasterCard would appeal a recent court decision which could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in back fees. In California, a Superior Court judge has ordered the associations to repay the fees of card users who used their cards overseas since February of 1996. The judge ruled that neither VISA nor MasterCard were up front with consumers about the fees they charged for converting the transactions from the overseas currency into dollars. San Francisco-based VISA USA is entirely under the judge’s jurisdiction and was ordered to refund the fees of consumers nationwide. MasterCard, which is based in Purchase, New York, was only ordered to repay the fees to California cardholders. Both associations were also ordered to begin disclosing the fees more clearly.

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