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Mercury Payment Systems will defend against Heartland suit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Mercury Payment Systems plans to have its day in court against Heartland Payment Systems. Mercury has indicated it will contest the federal lawsuit Heartland Payment Systems filed, charging the company with false advertising, unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, alleges that Mercury is illegally competing against Heartland with deceptive trade practices.

“Mercury will vigorously defend against the lawsuit filed by Heartland,” Mercury Payment Systems said in an email to Chain Store Age. “Mercury Payment Systems’ rapid growth in the electronic payments market is directly attributable to the value and flexibility we provide our merchants and partners, and we stand by our business and pricing practices. We are proud of our consistently high satisfaction rates and low merchant attrition rates among merchant acquirers over the past 10 years.”

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Report: Target offers few details in Congressional briefing; could face $1 billion fine

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – A Target representative reportedly offered few new details during a phone briefing with members of Congress about its holiday data breach. According to Reuters, Target official Isaac Reyes spent about an hour on the phone with members of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on the evening of Jan. 30.

Reyes reportedly told Congress Target was informed of the data breach by the Department of Justice on Dec. 12, but would not say if the retailer knew beforehand, citing ongoing law enforcement investigation. Reyes also reportedly said Target believes it has complied with all state and federal regulations on disclosing the breach.

In addition, Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder said that Target could face between $400 million and $1.1 billion in fines due to the breach, higher than previously thought.

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S.Stone says:
Feb-03-2014 06:02 pm

I still find it amazing that retailers are fined for trying to do their job. When banks are robbed do we fine the banks? When a burglary occurs at a business do we fine the business? What about the US Government. Were they fined when Edward Snowden stole information? How about this? Instead of continuing to fine retailers who are striving to protect data and provide services to their customers, the government focuses on (a) finding the perpetrators of these crimes, and (b) increases the penalties for cyber CRIMINALS to levels that would dissuade future activities. Not trying to over simplify this issue. But the people in data security at Target, Neimen, and Michael's all were trying to do the right thing and were certifying to industry practices.

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Wal-Mart lowers same-store sales guidance for Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has lowered the same-stores sales guidance it previously released for fourth quarter 2013 due to factors including severe winter weather and reduced governmental assistance to consumers. Wal-Mart U.S. guidance for the fourth quarter previously projected same-store sales without fuel to be relatively Sam’s Club same-store sales without fuel to be between flat and up 2%.

However, Wal-Mart now expects both Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club same-store sales for the fourth quarter to come in slightly below previous expectations. The retailer said Wal-Mart’s results were affected by the greater than anticipated impact from the reduction in SNAP (the U.S. government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits on Nov. 1, as well as eight named winter storms that resulted in store closures that impacted traffic throughout the quarter. Sam’s Club same-store sales were also affected by adverse weather.

In addition, Wal-Mart says fourth quarter earnings per share will come in at or slightly below the low end of its range of $1.60 to $1.70. For the full year, Wal-Mart expects underlying earnings per share to be at or slightly below the low end of its range of $5.11 to $5.21. The retailer cited mitigating factors including store closures in Brazil and China, the cost of registering a new company in India, and restructuring Sam’s Club and closing some Sam’s Club stores in the lowering of its earnings per share guidance.

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