Delta Cuts Interchange-Fixing Deal With Visa, MasterCard

Delta Air Lines has bailed out of a massive lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over an alleged plot to fix credit card swipe fees, Law360 reported.

Terms of the settlement weren’t made public, except that each side will cover its own attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Delta initially filed its complaint in August 2013 along with more than 100 other companies that accept both Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, and were allegedly forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in overly high interchange fees. The lawsuit accused the card brands of colluding with banks to manipulate the fees they charged merchants and others who take their cards.

Those lawsuits came in the wake of last year’s $7.25 billion settlement of antitrust claims against Visa, MasterCard and several banks. More than 100 large merchants and other card-accepting businesses opted out of the settlement, which allowed them to pursue claims against the card brands separately. Those cases were rolled into a single case earlier this year.

Delta and the other plaintiffs alleged the card companies used their market power to impose default interchange fees and competitive restraints on the card-accepting companies, and that those restraints that made it impossible for the merchants to gain the benefits of competition as to the terms of acceptance, including lower interchange fees with individual issuing banks, according to the complaint.



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