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    RILA Voices Opposition to Proposed Swipe Fee Settlement

    Trade association urges class plaintiffs to reject proposal.

    ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today joined the group of retail chains and associations criticizing the terms of the proposed class-action settlement with Visa and MasterCard. The $7.5 billion settlement, proposed on July 13, stems from a 2005 lawsuit and would allow retailers to past swipe fees on to consumers.

    "While Visa and MasterCard's decision to pursue a settlement affirms the legitimacy of retailers' claims, the flawed proposal upholds the networks' anticompetitive practices and fails to provide retailers and their consumers with meaningful relief from tens of billions of dollars in hidden fees," stated RILA President Sandy Kennedy. "We urge class plaintiffs to reject the proposal and send a clear message that a settlement that fails to engender competition and fix the broken electronic payments market is unacceptable."

    RILA noted concern over the settlement term that would release Visa and MasterCard from future legal claims relating to interchange practices, as well as those that may stifle innovation in areas such as mobile payments.

    "Retailers are concerned that in addition to limiting their future legal options, the proposed settlement preserves the Visa/MasterCard duopoly and constrains emerging innovations that could bring meaningful competition to the marketplace," added Kennedy.

    Other opponents to the settlement include NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) and others.

    RILA represents more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers across the U.S.

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