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US: Merchants seek dismissal of $6 billion credit card settlement

 |  July 29, 2015

Merchants supporting an antitrust settlement with American Express disputed claims by major retailers that the deal should be thrown out over unauthorized e-mails between lawyers associated with the case.

Dozens of retailers including Target Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc. contend Visa Inc. and MasterCard should pay more than the $5.7 billion they agreed on and AmEx’s settlement doesn’t go far enough to change the rules banning surcharges. The retailers are using the exchange of e-mails to press their opposition by arguing the communications showed the deals were rigged.

The e-mails “contain no suggestion” that an attorney representing merchants, Gary Friedman, “ever took any actions to the detriment” of his clients in his exchanges with the other attorney, according to a filing Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Merchants in the AmEx case argued in their filing Wednesday that neither the Visa and MasterCard settlement nor their accord was affected by the discussions.

“There is not a single reference in any of the communications to any understanding or arrangement between Mr. Friedman and Ms. Ravelo regarding settlement terms in the two cases,” the merchants said.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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