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Merchants to appeal preliminary ruling in proposed interchange settlement

Washington, D.C. -- On Tuesday, a majority of named class plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to challenge a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York granting preliminary approval to a proposed settlement of a long-standing antitrust class action filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the largest banks. The merchant group will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to deny preliminary approval due to the legal defects in the proposed settlement.
 
More than 1,200 merchants have weighed in with the courts in opposition to the settlement on the grounds that it locks in the broken interchange system, deprives merchants of their right to fight the anticompetitive practices of the Visa, MasterCard duopoly in court, and constrains innovations that could bring competition to the marketplace, such as mobile technology.

"This settlement has fatal legal defects and should not get preliminary approval. We look forward to presenting the problems we see in this proposal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.," said Jeffrey Shinder, managing partner, Constantine Cannon, LLC, counsel to the merchants objecting to the proposed settlement.
 
The named class plaintiffs opposing the proposed settlement of the case are Affiliated Foods Midwest, Coborn's, Inc., D'Agostino Supermarkets, Jetro Holdings LLC, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), NATSO, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), National Grocers Association (NGA), and National Restaurant Association (NRA).
 
The named class plaintiffs were joined in multiple briefs filed with the court from nearly 1200 small businesses and recognized retail brands, ranging from 7-Eleven and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to The Gap and Wal-Mart Stores, and a variety of associations including the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association.