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US: Supreme Court rejects swipe fee appeal

 |  January 20, 2015

The National Retail Federation (NRF) expressed disappointment on Tuesday when the US Supreme Court refused to review an appellate court’s ruling on card swipe fees being higher than Congress intended. Following the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, the Federal Reserve (FR) was required to recalculate card swipe fees to comply with the new law.

Although the FR staff originally calculated average incremental costs of 4 cents and a cap of 12 cents, the FR Board of Governors decided on a cap of 21 cents. This was much lower than the previous average of 45 cents, but the NRF and other retail groups filed suit against the FR claiming that the figures were above the levels sought by Congress with its 2010 act. Federal District judge Richard Leon ruled in the NRF’s favor in 2013, but the FR appealled the decision. In March 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned Leon’s ruling citing “ambiguity” in the 2010 law.

The NRF appealed to the US Supreme Court, but Tuesday the court announced that it would not review the appellate court’s ruling. NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said, “The court’s decision is disappointing because it leaves merchants and their customers paying far more,” but that “the battle over swipe fees isn’t over.”

Full Content: National Retail Federation

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