Cincinnati, Charging that Visa unlawfully fixed credit-card interchange fees and restricted competition, The Kroger Co., announced today it has filed a federal lawsuit against Visa USA and Visa International Service Association. Joining Kroger in the suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, are Walgreen Co., Safeway, Eckerd Corp., Albertson’s, Ahold USA and Maxi Drug.
The lawsuit alleges that Visa has unlawfully set the interchange fees that are charged to Kroger and other merchants each time a customer makes a purchase with a Visa credit card. The suit also charges Visa with creating and imposing rules and restrictions on merchants that preclude Kroger from being able to negotiate lower fees.
The complaint seeks injunctive relief to stop the anticompetitive practices, plus unspecified damages.