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NGA Expects to Appeal Card Settlement

ARLINGTON, Va. — National Grocers Association here said it expects to join in an appeal of a judge’s decision on Friday to approve settlement in antitrust litigation against credit-card issuers.

"NGA has consistently expressed opposition to the settlement that was issued in July 2012 due to its failure to provide meaningful relief for merchants and consumers from excessive credit card swipe fees, and places restrictions on a merchant's ability to seek further relief in the courts,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and chief executive officer, NGA, in a statement on Monday. “While we anticipated that a decision of final approval was likely, NGA and hundreds of retailers joined in stating their objections to the proposed settlement, and we expect that many of those who opposed the approval, including our organization, will join in appealing this decision."


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The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by NGA and other associations and merchants against Visa, MasterCard and several banks alleging they violated antitrust laws by fixing the prices of credit card interchange fees and setting anti-competitive rules. The settlement approved by Judge John Gleeson last week calls for the payment of about $5.7 billion to retailers, but restricts them from bringing certain types of litigation against the card companies in the future.

Several large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp., opted out of the settlement.

In July 2012, the NGA board voted unanimously to oppose the settlement agreement. NGA also voiced its opposition to final approval of the proposed settlement at a fairness hearing on Sept. 12 of this year.

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