NEW YORK (Nov. 13, 2002) — The Tire Industry Association is pleased with the class-action lawsuit brought by the National Retail Federation (NRF) against Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc.
The suit—certified this summer in the Manhattan federal district court six years after its filing—claims the credit card companies violated federal antitrust law by forcing retailers who took Visa and MasterCard credit cards to also accept signature-based debit cards. These debit cards have a slower transaction time than credit cards, and also carry a higher processing fee, the NRF said in the suit, which calls for reimbursement of fees to more than 7.6 million merchants that take MasterCard and Visa.
The NRF sent notification of the class action certification to all the potential plaintiffs, giving them until Nov. 14 to join or opt out of the suit. While the class action wasn't a front-burner issue for TIA members, the association is grateful to the NRF for bringing it, said Ross Kogel, TIA executive vice president.
"Any time you're forced to accept a debit card that costs you more—that is something our members could not support. No retailer could," Mr. Kogel said.