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Walmart Sues Visa for $5B Over Excessive Card Fees

Suit part of ongoing legal fight with credit card companies


Walmart (WMT) is hoping to roll back some of the credit card fees it’s charged by suing Visa (V) for $5 billion.

walmart-wmt-stockWalmart is accusing the credit card company of colluding with other banks to fix the processing fees that retailers are charged for the cards.

The world’s largest retailer says Visa’s price-fixing has cost it at least $5 billion.

In July 2012, Visa, MasterCard and other major banks reached a settlement with certain retailers in which they paid more than $7 billion and lowered the fees they charge stores.

But Walmart, Target and several other retailers argued the settlement cost was too low, and opted out of the payment so they were able to sue independently.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Companies that opted out of the settlement have argued that the deal wouldn’t prohibit card networks from raising card-processing fees later on and would require merchants to waive their rights to sue payment networks on all current or future payment methods, ranging from credit cards to mobile phones.

Visa and MasterCard have been pushing merchants and banks to adopt the technology, arguing it could significantly reduce the impact of data breaches. Both companies have set an October 2015 deadline for merchants to upgrade to the technology or face increased liability for future data breaches.

“The anticompetitive conduct of Visa and the banks forced Wal-Mart to raise retail prices paid by its customers and/or reduce retail services provided to its customers as a means of offsetting some of the artificially inflated Interchange Fees,” the company said. “As a result, Wal-Mart’s retail sales were below what they would have been otherwise.”

WMT stock is down 3% year to date.

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