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    Cumberland Gulf Group Latest to Reject Swipe Fee Settlement

    C-store chain says the proposal does little to fix the 'broken' swipe fee market.

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- The Cumberland Gulf Group has joined a large list of retailers and associations to publicly oppose a possible swipe fee settlement that dates back to 2006.

    The Cumberland Gulf Group joins NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing; Ricker Oil Co.; Thorntons Inc.; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Target Corp.; and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) in its rejection of the proposed settlement between retailers and financial institutions, including Visa Inc. and MasterCard, which was announced on July 13.

    As part of the settlement, the credit card companies would allow retailers to pass the swipe fees onto consumers. However, according to The Cumberland Gulf Group, the proposal makes no meaningful changes to the "broken" credit card swipe fee market and "broadly rejects" merchants' rights to challenge the card industry's anticompetitive practices in the future.

    "The proposal offers no long-term relief for retailers or consumers from increasing swipe fees or from unfair credit card network rules," Ari Haseotes, president and COO of Cumberland Farms Inc., said in a statement. "Moreover, this will not keep the card networks from continuing to raise swipe fees, which already cost retailers and consumers approximately $50 billion every year. We support bringing real competition and transparency to the credit card market and this proposed settlement clearly fails to meet this objective."

    The Cumberland Gulf Group added that it will continue to explore its options while working toward a solution that represents true reform. "The company urges everyone in the merchant community, including those representing the class of merchants around the nation, to support a real solution to the problem caused by the card companies' anticompetitive conduct," Cumberland Gulf stated in a news release.

    The Cumberland Gulf Group has 589 convenience stores under the Cumberland Farms banner and via the operations of its subsidiary, Gulf Oil.

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