Clash of the Titans: Walmart Sues VISA for $5 Billion over Swipe Fees

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The world’s largest retailer is suing a credit card giant in a high-stakes battle over swipe fees. Walmart wants Visa to pay it $5 billion for allegedly charging it too much to process credit card charges.


The retail company claims price fixing and other antitrust violations occurred from 2004 to 2012, resulting in Visa collecting more than $350 billion, some of that at the expense of Walmart and its customers.


Walmart’s move comes after it opted out of a 2012 class action settlement between merchants and Visa and another credit card company, MasterCard. That settlement, $5.7 billion, was deemed too small by Walmart and other plaintiffs who dropped out of the deal to pursue their own lawsuits.


Other significant players who opted out include Amazon and Target, which could mean Visa may be sued by those companies as well. Even the Minnesota Twins baseball team dropped out of the settlement.


It’s also possible that Walmart will sue MasterCard. A company spokesman reportedly refused to say whether Walmart would pursue a case against that credit card issuer, according to Reuters.


Just last week, a federal appeals court gave banks a victory, allowing them to charge an average of 24 cents per transaction.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Wal-Mart Sues Visa for $5 billion over Card Swipe Fees (by Phil Wahba, Reuters)

Wal-Mart Sues Visa Claiming Card Transaction Fee Fixing (by Andrew Harris and Christie Smythe, Bloomberg)

Wal-Mart Sues Visa Over 'Swipe Fees' (by Shelly Banjo, Wall Street Journal)

Court Ruling Gives Bankers Victory over Merchants in “Swipe Fee” Case (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Judge Rules Federal Reserve Ignored Law to Help Credit Card Companies over Retailers(by Ken Broder, AllGov)


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