$5.7 Billion Swipe Fee Accord Approved

Visa and MasterCard win approval for settlement in class action suit over swipe fees. It's the largest ever in an antitrust case.

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. won approval for a $5.7 billion settlement that ended years of litigation with U.S. merchants over allegations that credit-card swipe fees are improperly fixed.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson said that he was satisfied with the settlement, which was estimated to be the largest-ever U.S. antitrust accord.

In today’s decision, Gleeson described the objectors’ arguments at the September hearing as being “afflicted by needless hyperbole.”

One objector likened approval “to the deprivation of civil liberties in the aftermath of a terrorist attack,” Gleeson wrote. Another “cast Visa and MasterCard as modern-day Nazis, and warned me not to assume the role of Neville Chamberlain,” he said.

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