NEWSWATCH

Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark.; Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., and other retailers have a trial date, Nov. 27, in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, N.Y., for the lawsuit they filed in 1997 against Visa, San Francisco, and MasterCard, Purchase, N.Y. The suit alleges the two bank-card companies illegally require companies accepting their credit cards to accept their debit systems as well. According to

Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark.; Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., and other retailers have a trial date, Nov. 27, in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, N.Y., for the lawsuit they filed in 1997 against Visa, San Francisco, and MasterCard, Purchase, N.Y. The suit alleges the two bank-card companies illegally require companies accepting their credit cards to accept their debit systems as well. According to the court papers, Visa charges 36 cents for each debit transaction and MasterCard charges 44 cents per transaction, compared with 7 cents per transaction charged by 37 regional on-line point-of-sale debit networks. The retailers are suing for a reported $8.1 billion.

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Jackpot Enterprises, Las Vegas, said last week it would operate gaming machines atLas Vegas area Raley's Supermarkets through Jan. 31, and could extend its existing agreements at Albertson's Nevada stores under terms of a lawsuit settlement. Jackpot subsidiary Cardivan Co. had brought suit against both companies after Raley's had attempted to replace the Cardivan games in the Las Vegas area stores it had acquired from Albertson's in September.

Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, will pay $226,000 of overtime pay owed to thousands of current and former workers, the company said last week, in response to a suit filed by the U.S. Labor Department in Dallas after an investigation by the department's Wage and Hour division indicated Whole Foods' process for computing overtime violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, a department spokeswoman told SN. The Labor Department is currently reviewing the matter with Whole Foods, she added.