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Merchant Groups Sue Over Credit-Card Fees


Washington, D.C., Four of the nation’s leading merchant associations have joined the legal battle to force credit-card issuers to lower the fees they charge for processing transactions. The four groups—the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Cooperative Grocers Associations—filed an antitrust, class-action lawsuit accusing Visa USA, MasterCard Inc. and a number of major banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., of engaging in collusive practices in setting interchange fees for credit-card payments.

The suit seeks an injunction to stop the alleged collusion as well as damages, which were not specified. It is the latest of more than 30 legal actions filed over the past several months aimed at forcing the card associations and their member banks to cut interchange fees, which are paid by the merchants each time a customer uses a debit or credit card to pay for a purchase.

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