WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation and other retail groups are praising a second lawsuit that has been opened against Visa alleging unfair and anticompetitive credit card interchange. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by grocers and alleges monopolistic practices on the part of Visa, price fixing and illegally tying products and separate network services. The complaint further contends that Visa’s association rules have restrained merchants’ ability to negotiate lower interchange fees. The suit seeks a declaration that Visa has violated federal antitrust laws, permanent injunctive relief barring Visa from continuing practices that violate antitrust law, legal costs and unspecified damages. Unlike another interchange lawsuit filed last month in Connecticut, the new suit does not name MasterCard, does not name Visa and MasterCard’s member banks, and is not a class action. “This is the second lawsuit filed against credit card interchange rates in less than a month and will help focus attention on this hidden tax that is driving up costs for consumers,” NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin said.

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